Do you want to write (and sell) a acim? 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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.