Do you want to write (and sell) a book? Well you’re not alone. There are literally millions of us out there who want to (and now, due to technology) we actually can. The good news? If you want to write a book, yay! Whoever you are, it is now quite possible, (and in the case of the e-book-easy) to write and actually publish a real book! Hooray!  https://www.urbanenergy.com.au/

The Bad News

The bad news… the technology is moving so fast that the book as we know it is quickly becoming obsolete! (That hasn’t happened yet, but, you best believe that in the next twenty or so years, paper books will be a thing of the past.) The other bad news? There are millions of us (really good writers out there blogging, publishing traditional books and e-books) so the competition (if you are hoping to make a buck off of your writing) is ferocious. The even more bad news? The publishing industry is in such a state of transition and confusion, that getting a book deal from a traditional publisher, (if you’re a first time author) is nearly impossible. But here’s some good news: there are other options. Self-publishing is quickly becoming one of the best!

The Good News

I personally think, (given the state of the publishing industry) self-publishing is the way to go. Let’s take a look at why traditional publishing is such a limited option for first time authors.

The Deal with Traditional Publishers

Traditional publishers hate first time authors. They consider them a huge risk, so it takes anywhere from two to five years to even get a deal with a traditional publisher.

What They Do

Once you get a deal, the advances for first-time authors are really small: $1000 to $10,000. Once they pay you that advance, the traditional publisher takes ownership over certain parts of the publishing process: they will edit the book, they will format the book, they will title the book, they will have their designers design a cover for the book, they will print a certain number of copies of the book, and they will be responsible for distribution of the book. (Distribution is a huge part of the publishing process.) While traditional publishers will take on a limited amount of marketing for the book, they still expect the author to do most of the marketing for it. (Marketing makes or breaks the book. It’s also the most expensive and time-consuming part of the publishing process.) Finally, if you can’t sell a certain amount of books, (typically 25,000) in a certain amount of time, (typically three months), a traditional publisher will consider your book a failure. They won’t be offering you any additional book deals.

What it Costs

The down side to going with a traditional publisher? You lose control of your book. You no longer own the book, you share the rights to the book with a publisher, who is going to make the most profit off the book. And, with a traditional publishers, this is understandable because they are bearing a greater amount of risk in the publishing process. They take on all the costs of publishing the book, from editing to marketing, and quite honestly all of that stuff is pretty expensive. Due to technology, these costs have gone down. But anything that requires live human effort: (editing, book formatting, cover design, distribution, marketing) is going to be expensive.

Why They Do It

So, why do they do it? Why do publishers take the risk? Well, much like everyone else looking to make a buck in the entertainment industry, publishers are looking for the next big thing. And, in order to get it, the will act like bullies. If your book becomes a huge commercial success, publishers will bully you into playing by their rules. Even if your work doesn’t become a huge commercial success, publishers will still bully you into playing by their rules. Once they pay you that advance, they really want you to dance to their music. They push you to sell the book on their terms, not your own. They expect you to invest in your own marketing. (I’ve known authors who spent over $20,000 on marketing, when they only got a $5000 advance. That just doesn’t make any sense to me!) But, they did it because they were pressured into it by the publisher. After all the money these authors spend on marketing, the publisher makes the most off of every book sold. Most authors with traditional publishers only get $1 to $2 per a book in royalties, some times even less than that. So, if you’re thinking of pursuing a traditional deal with a traditional publishing house, just remember, all that glitters is not gold.

The Deal with Self-Publishers

Now, let’s compare traditional publishing to self-publishing.

What They Do

With self-publishing the author does and pays for everything themselves: editing, formatting, ISBN purchase, cover design, printing, distribution, marketing… all of it.

What it Costs

It used to be nearly impossible to do this without a huge investment of time and money, (at least $25,000) but now, publishing your own book is much more affordable due to advances in publishing technology (Print on Demand) technology and E-book technology, for starters. It’s still not cheap – well it can be, if you eliminate certain steps. But if you do that, you’ll probably end up with a crappy book that won’t really sell. So what’s the point? (If you hope to make money.) To do it right, you do need to spend some money, but it is something that is within reach for most professional people. (You can probably publish a print book for about $5,000 to $10,000, and you can follow up with an e-book version for a few hundred more dollars.)

By yanam49

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