Writing your book is the easy part. Publishing it is where the real challenge starts.
Many writers make the fatal mistake of confusing to publish a book with printing at this stage. It is fatal because this could be the difference between grand success and dismal failure.
Printing is just about getting your book into a physical and tangible form. At most, it might involve editing and proofreading. Many writers stop with printing and lose out on a golden opportunity.
To Publish Book, on the other hand, is a series of complex and interlinked functions that aim at creating a product that continues to work for the writers and their businesses.
Your options for realizing your publishing dreams
As a writer, you have the following options for publishing your book.
Under traditional publishing, you will publish your book through the established publishing houses.
Your journey begins by writing a book proposal – outlining the content and potential market of your book. Then you need to find an agent and pitch your book idea to him/her. This is because the traditional publishing houses only consider manuscripts or proposals coming through agents. If your agent is successful in convincing the publisher, you will be given the advance to write the book and enter into a contract regarding royalty and returns. Once you have written the book, the publisher makes the final calls on title, design and promotion strategy. Finally, your book gets published.
Traditional publishing is notoriously rigged to create a huge advantage for the publisher and forcing the writer to negotiate from the position of weakness. Writers do not have much say in the proceedings right from selecting the publisher to actual selling. Also, traditionally book publishing has only the sales oriented revenue focus. The time from idea to actual publishing could take anywhere from one to three years.
All these factors have combined to make traditional publishing not exactly a highly profitable venture for the larger majority. This drawback coupled with the invention of digital book formats and rise of writers across niche industries has resulted in self-publishing revolution.
Under indie publishing, authors undertake all the publishing functions themselves. Right from writing, editing, proofreading, cover design, and promotion. These books were initially published mostly in digital format but with the advent of publishing on demand, authors are going for print copies also. Many authors even obtain ISBN numbers and act as their own private publishing houses.
This approach has given back the power and control regarding the schedule, content, and design of the book back into the hands of the author.
But, all this comes at a steep opportunity cost, especially for an authorpreneur. These entrepreneur turned authors often have to sacrifice a huge chunk of their time and resources into publishing the book. Additionally, working with basic publishing systems and software rather than custom ones means the quality of the book suffers.
Certain specialized publishing functions like market research, promotion and positioning can be overwhelming and confusing without professional guidance. Ultimately this has created a high chance of failure and publishing of just for namesake books that do not give any tangible returns to the authors.
Under hybrid publishing, certain publishing functions are hired out to professionals but the writer retains overall control over content and timelines. This is the compromise option between indie publishing and hiring a publishing agency.
The writers often outsource activities like book promotion and author platform management which need special competency and are time-consuming.
Publishing consists of series of complex and simultaneous functions. The cohesiveness of content and approach across all these functions is lost to a greater degree when they are performed by diverse individuals working towards micro goals. Here also writers have to set aside a considerable chunk of their time assisting their team, troubleshooting and monitoring progress. Hybrid publishing can also be heavy in the pocket as you will get people to work mostly on the single project basis. Many authors also struggle with finding right people who can deliver to the specific needs on the first try.
Self-publishing with a publishing agency
Self-publishing with a publishing agency is the option that helps the writers find highly personalized publishing solutions with minimal investments.
Two factors are making self-publishing highly appealing to the writers.
Firstly, the writers are increasingly looking at books as the launching pad rather than a culmination of their ambitions. So, they are increasingly looking for solutions that meet their branding and promotion needs. A publishing agency is best positioned to provide the writers with packages that meet such niche specific needs.
Secondly, publishing agencies bring much-needed professionalism and high standards for the output, helping the independent authors compete in the market with traditional publishers in terms of quality and visibility.
Authors also retain larger control over the process and output. The publishers often come to the table with proven track record, a wealth of contacts and strategies designed for niche industries. All this ensures that you start with an advantage from day one.
Publishers, to publish a book, often offer their services as a package ensuring overall cohesiveness and cost-effectiveness. This publishing has timelines as short as six months and writers can start earning right from the sale of the first copy.
Publishing a book is not only about building your brand but about creating your legacy for generations to come. Make sure that you choose the right options and set yourself up for publishing success.
To know more about how The Books Factory can help you write and publish the book of your dreams, schedule a free 30-minute strategy call by clicking here.