Well as most of the regular readers on this site knows that I have written my first book. It is self-published and available on Amazon. Pondering the whole process, one may say that it was the start of learning about the book publishing industry.
Going the traditional route of sending out the manuscript to well known publishing companies, that 10 out of 10 times they will reject to publish the works. That is if they actually read the manuscript. Often, the manuscript isn’t read and if it is the decision to accept the work is made after just going through a couple of pages.
It is said that there is more of a chance of an Author’s manuscript being read if it is presented to the publishing company through a Literal Agent. This agent is supposed to pitch your manuscript and work with the publishing company to get your work in print. But you know before he does that, you may have to sign a contract that will give him a percentage of the book sale royalties.
Nowadays because it is hard to get works published going through the traditional route many Authors began to self- publish their works. The drawback to self-publishing is that you would have to do everything that a publishing company does by yourself. For example proofreading, editing, book cover design, book promotion, and distribution.
As an Author, you may have done a lot of rewriting and editing and the final product may look good to you, but the reality to this is that once the manuscript is written it is a good idea to have a third person proof read it. That third person may notice things that you missed. Once the flaws is pointed out another round of editing and rewriting needs to be done and proof read again.
Then there is the matter of the book cover. The old saying goes, “ don’t judge a book by its cover.” This saying may be a metaphor that is applicable in other areas. But when it comes to a book, it is a fallacy. The reality is that people will judge a book by its cover. It is the factor whether someone will actually look at the book before they decide to purchase it. Therefore the book cover needs to be an attention getter to attract a buyer when it is on the shelves.
Speaking of book sales; one of the things that a publishing house does is do some type of promotion to let the public know that your book is available. If the book is self-published, then the book would have to be self-promoted. This is done through your social media contacts, and personal social contacts. Your family and friends could spread the word to their personal and social contacts. Perhaps the self-published Author would have to put up some money and pay for an advertising campaign. Otherwise the book sits on the shelf; and nobody will know that the book exists.
Once the book is promoted, then it is distributed to retail outlets. This is one of the advantages having your book published by a publishing house is that it can be sent to many stores and online vendors. Otherwise, the self-published Author would have to go around making their own agreements with a distributor to get their book on the retail shelves.
The self-published Author could go another route. There are companies out there who caters to the self-published Author and provides all the services that a traditional publishing house provides. The only thing that the self-publish Author has to do is to go into his pocket and pay.
After paying a service fee the company and the Author would sign a contract and the company will do everything the traditional publishing house does. One of the draw backs to the self-published Author is that he has to give up a percentage of the royalties. The other drawback is that the Author will not truly get an honest report as to how much books were sold. This leaves the Author being short changed.
If you look at it this way, it really takes a team to put out a book and the promotional effort is what determines if the book becomes a best seller. Right now yours truly True_George is pondering which approach to take with the next book.