If you’re an aspiring author, you will have likely heard of the success story of E L James (Fifty Shades of Grey). Initially developed as a fan-fiction project in 2009, the book gained international attention after James decided to self-publish the book in 2011 with the help of an online publisher, The Writers’ Coffee Shop. Due to its immense popularity, James later signed a contract with a traditional publisher, Vintage Books, which published the book’s sequels that became global sensations.
James’s success is a testament that anyone can become a bestselling author as long as they have the talent to write captivating stories. However, there are many ways to get your book published in order to make a breakthrough as a writer.
Here are the three most popular types of publishing today:
As the name suggests, self-publishing is when you take on the role of the publisher. You are responsible for securing and financing the book’s editing, design, marketing, and production aspects. While this does have some great benefits, such as 100% royalties and complete creative control of your book, there is also the increased risk of typographical errors. You may also find it hard to get a professional-looking cover. In some cases, you can receive assistance from an editor or a self-publishing company, who can provide the professional advice you need. We previously shared an article about this topic, ‘How to Write a Letter to the Editor?’, which can help you get started.
Electronic self-publishing is similar to traditional self-publishing. The main difference is that you publish your book digitally through self-publishing platforms like Amazon and Bookbaby. Another popular platform you can publish your book on is Scribd. With Scribd’s self-publishing services, you can submit your work to be reviewed by the team, and the company will serve as the main distributor of the book. Today, electronic self-publishing is becoming more common among aspiring authors because it’s an inexpensive alternative for those wishing to break into the market for the first time.
Traditional publishing is when you submit your work to an established book publishing company. They will review and decide whether to accept your manuscript and once they deem your work profitable, they’ll handle the production and management costs of the book. The advantage of this approach is that you no longer have to worry about the editing, design, printing, marketing, and distribution process because the company will expertly do them for you. However, publishing companies take a portion of the profits from your book based on your negotiated contract. And because most publishers require a formal submission from a literary agent, they will also take a percentage of your royalties. The most prominent publishing companies are Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin Random House.
Finally, partnership or hybrid publishing is the cross between traditional and self-publishing. In this type of agreement, you will need to make a monetary investment and provide assistance in the editing, design, marketing, and production of the book. The hybrid publisher will also help you cover the necessary production costs and ensure that your book is as polished and professionally made as possible. The main benefit of entering a partnership publishing contract is that you will maintain 100% of the rights to your work. Royalties are divided between you and the publisher, and the percentage can vary depending on your agreement. One thing to remember with hybrid publishing is to avoid dodgy partnership publishing deals that may take advantage of your work.
Which Type of Publishing is for You?
When deciding how to publish your book, consider which route you are more comfortable with and your chances of success. If you want absolute control of your work and are determined to just get it out there, self-publishing and electric publishing will be the best route. If you are looking to become more established and only concentrate on the writing, you can try your luck with partnership publishing and traditional publishing. Although do note that traditional publishing is very difficult for first-time authors.
Visit our website at Writing Hood to learn more about how you can publish your book.