So you’ve put the final fullstop on the last sentence of your first novel. What a mammoth task that was. Now you are ready to get that masterpiece published so that your readers can experience your well-crafted creativity.
Of course, you might be wondering: “Should I self-publish or go the traditional publishing route?”
Let’s take a look at what some well known (and best-selling) authors think of both options.
“It’s up to you to get your book into bookstores and onto shelves,” says Tanya Haffern, author of Escaping Corporate Bondage referring to self-publishing. “You have to make the choice between control vs exposure. However, there is the risk of putting out a low-quality product and it’s up to you to make sure this does not happen. The cover design is also critical for the book’s success,”
With self -publishing you have full control over the look and feel of the book, once its printed however distribution is in your hands. With traditional publishing, marketing and distribution is normally done for you. Make sure to give any publishing contracts a thorough read through to better understand what a traditional publisher promises they will take care of versus what would be your responsibility.
Importance of finding reputable publishing assistance
“I use a reputable company who assist with everything other than writing, editing and proofreading,” says awarding winning and self-published author Raashida Khan. “This includes, design, layout, printing, getting an ISBN number, creating the e-book and uploading it to Amazon.” They are also responsible for the design of any invitations and marketing posters for social media, etc. “Once the story is written, editing with a professional begins, as many as five edits, each time with a detailed brief that both parties agree to,” says Khan.
Leveraging author networks
“Then the really tough work begins marketing and promotion on social media and as many other channels as you can reach. Networking with other indie author networks is very important,” Khan adds.
Khan says, at least 10 copies (Author Review Copies) should be handed to reputable people such as journalists, bookclub members and book enthusiasts to read the book and share reviews. “Try promote and market to book fairs and events as well, but this is very difficult as traditional publishers are often able to push their titles.” Some book events/fairs target indies (independent authors). Khan says, “Even then, it helps if you partner with a book distributor who is known and has some contacts.”
knowing the costs
“You’ve got to calculate the costs of the editing, layout and printing. You also need an ISBN number if you want your book on shelves,” Haffern says. “Understanding why you are writing the book and who you want to read it may help deciding on the best publishing route to take,” she adds.
“It’s very hard to get an offer to traditionally publish, but if you can get an offer, and a large advance, you should (almost certainly) take the deal,” says Tucker Max, four-time New York Times bestselling author.
If you are a celebrity, high-profile athlete, A-list actor, politician or CEO of a major company, getting a deal with a traditional publisher should not be hard.
For the rest of us, self-publishing could be the answer.