I received a question on my Instagram, asking about the publishing process and thought I'd share some light on the different types of publishing and processes that you go through for each one. If you're interest, take a look below and don't forget to subscribe for updates and latest news!
Traditional publishing is perhaps one of the most well-known way of publishing. It involves sending a synopsis and your manuscript to a traditional publisher, who will then let you know if they'd like to take on your work for publishing. However, it's not as simple as it sounds, most traditional publishers do not accept submissions from authors, an author would have to secure themselves a literary agent who will then send their work to publishers they have contacts to.
Some examples of traditional publishers are; HarperCollins, Penguin Random House and Bloomsbury.
Benefits of Traditionally Publishing your novel:
• Traditional Publishers are usually well-known, giving your work greater visibility and reach.
• A team of dedicated professionals are on-hand, such as editors, cover designers and marketers.
• There are no upfront costs. Unlike Partnership Publishers, there are no upfront costs and the publisher pays for the services your book receives.
• There's ultimately more potential to become a brand-name author.
Disadvantages of Traditional Publishing your novel:
• It can be difficult to secure a literary agent and even then, the publisher might not take your work.
• This way of publishing is especially difficult for first-time authors, as there is a sense of insecurity, taking on an author with no brand following.
• There is a loss of rights. When you sign a traditional publishing contract, you're giving away your rights to your book and ultimately the publisher has the final say on the direction your book should take, even if you disagree.
• The royalties you get are lower. When you traditionally publish, the publisher usually receives a bigger percentage of monies made from your book, than you, the author, do. Generally, you could secure 20% to 40% of your royalties whilst the publisher secures the rest.
Self Published is the way 80% of authors decide to publish their books and for a number of reasons. Self-publishing is easy and involves that you do all the work yourself, this includes editing, designing a book cover and marketing. Thanks to Amazon and KDP for EBook, it's easy to self-publish which is why many authors who have been rejected by traditional publishers then choose this route.
Some self-publishing hosts are; Amazon, KDP and Createspace.
Benefits of Self Publishing your novel:
• You're in control. When an author chooses to self publish, they control the book price, the marketing avenues, the editing and design.
• You'll receive higher royalty rates. You might not get 100% of the royalties due to tax and the self-publishing host will take a cut, but you'll receive a lot more than you would if you choose to traditionally publish.
• You keep your rights. When you self-publish the book and all matters regarding the book in the future is up to you.
• The publishing process is quick. You can self-publish your book within about 10 minutes, compared to the year it could take to publish your novel traditionally. As said, you don't have to wait around for editors to get back to you, as you do all that yourself.
• Anyone can publish. There are no restrictions as to who can or can't have their work published as there isn't a team who will check.
Disadvantages of Self Publishing your novel:
• There's more chance of a mistake happening. You don't have an editing team to check your work for punctuation or grammatical errors, so if you've poorly checked your manuscript it will be published with errors.
• You're on your own. You don't have a knowledgeable team who have been in the industry for years to help you with the publishing process, meaning you'll have to do a lot of research.
• You have to work hard. Unless you have a big following, which for a first-time author you probably won't, it can be extremely difficult to even attract sales. Although it's easier thanks to social media, getting someone who hasn't heard of you to purchase your book is tough.
• There are upfront costs. When you self-publish you have the option to hire graphic designers and editors for a one-time fee, instead of a traditional publisher doing it for you. This can become quite costly. You'll also need to pay for any at-home copies you'd like to keep yourself, unlike a traditional publisher who will give you copies for free.
Partnership/Hybrid Publishing ensures you get all the benefits that traditional publishing can give you, but you have to pay for these yourself. A publisher may offer you this option if you're a first-time author, as they're unsure how your book would do in sales and don't want to lose money. There's an old-aged view that one should never pay for their book to be published, calling Hybrid Publisher's scammer, which in some sad cases is true, however there are some Hybrid Publishers who aren't so bad.
Some examples of partnership/hybrid publishers are; TCK Publishing, Book Press Publishing and Austin Macauley (who offer traditional and hybrid publishing).
Benefits of Partnership/Hybrid Publishing your novel:
• You have a team of professionals who will work on your novel, such as editors, designers and marketers.
• You're book will have a higher visibility compared to self-publishing, as the publisher will send your work to critics, articles and radios, and provide you with a marketing plan.
• You'll have more control. The Hybrid Publisher still has the final decision, but they're more likely to give you what you want, unlike a traditional publisher. Many authors who have traditionally published don't like their book covers, for example, but they didn't get a say. This isn't the case for Hybrid Publishing.
• There's a better chance of being accepted than if you were to traditionally publish. Traditional Publishers very rarely take on new authors, even with a literary agent. Famous Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, got rejected from traditional publishers 12 times before Bloomsbury picked it up, which goes to show that even if your work is well-written and a great read if you're unknown most traditional publishers won't accept it.
Disadvantages of Partnership/Hybrid Publishing your novel:
• There are upfront costs, which can sometimes be high. It's common in the industry to hear from 'Hybrid Publishers' who ask for thousands of pounds upfront and then usually don't do anything they've promised, such as marketing your work properly.
• Like traditional publishing, you give up your rights to your work and ultimately the publishers has the final decision, even if you don't agree.
• There is an unfair stigma around Hybrid Publishing your novel, especially amongst older authors. Hybrid Publishing is relatively new, and if you're known to have Hybrid Published you'll hear some people say 'they've cheated the system'. Personally, I do not agree with this but due to so many scamming companies pretending to be a Hybrid Publisher, many have gone for this route and been unhappy with the result.
• You could still be rejected from a Hybrid Publisher. Just because you're offering to pay for the publishing service does not mean the publisher wants your work on their shelves.