It’s time to publish your book, but which way should you go? The Traditional way or self-publishing? I am going to talk about the pros and cons of both and inside of today’s post, I am talking about traditional publishing and the pros and cons to that.
Traditional Publishing refers to the “old” way of publishing, meaning you find a publisher (or publishers) who fit your book category and who are open to book submissions.
Many publishers let you know what they want from you as the author when you submit your book to them. Many still want the old-fashion way of snail mail to deliver a portion and overview of your book.
One of the ways you can find publishers who are open to submissions is by picking up the Writer’s Market in the current year. The Writer’s Market comes out every year, updated with the recent publishers, literary agents, and magazines that will help writers find the perfect place to submit their book to publishers or submit articles to magazines that pay.
When you submit your book or a book proposal to a publisher, the waiting process begins. Many publishers receive hundreds of manuscripts every day so it takes time to sift through all the book proposals and get back to you with yours. It can take a few months before they even send you a rejection/congratulation letters (unfortunately, you may want to lean on the rejection letters at first).
Some publishing houses don’t even want you to submit a manuscript to them – they only allow literary agents to do that on your behalf. If you decide to go that route, that now means you have to find a literary agent who is willing to represent you and your book to publishing houses. You can find literary agents in the Writer’s Market book, as many agents work in different niches, genres and more.
The good news is that there is usually no up-front cost as literary agents are paid on commission base on your book sales. Now, let’s talk about book sales and how most traditional publishing houses pay you.
Traditional publishing houses do give many authors an advance payment for the book, so the author can survive and live while writing their novel (many authors don’t even begin writing their book until they are accepted by a publishing house. It’s because they want this advance and many publishers don’t expect the author to be done with the book anyways, they expect a well-written outline of the book with a few other things to tell them if the book is accepted by their policies or not).
After you receive your signing bonus or your advance payment, the publishing house will typically get paid back that bonus they gave you through your book sales. Meaning that 1) you won’t see a penny of the sales until the publisher gets paid back from your book sales and 2) when you do get money from your book sales, your royalties are anywhere between 7.5%-15% of book retail price.
If you had to have an agent represent you, then some of your royalties will be going to your agent. So that means it’s even less than before. And on top of that, big book retailers will eventually cut your book retail price and that means an even smaller percentage is coming your way.
So why go through a publishing house then? There are pros to going for a traditional publishing house, such as:
- Credibility with the publisher’s name
- Getting into big retail stores (such as Barnes and Nobel, even though you can get into Barnes and Nobel through self-publishing)
- Have money and a big publishing house backing you up with your marketing
- Having a professional editor, book cover designer, and many more professionals working on your book that you would have to find and pay if you didn’t go the publishing house way
- Literary prizes and acclaims are possible for you to attain when you have a publisher backing up your book
- You could become a brand-name author, which will help you live an unforgettable legacy
Remember, there are pros and cons to every publishing, but it’s up to you on which one you want for your book. Join me next week where I’ll be talking about self-publishing and how I used it to published all three of my books.
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