Now that all the editing work — by writer him/herself and professional editor — is done, the author is ready to send a query (mostly it contains Synopsis, Sample chapter, Author bio in brief) to publishers. We will, in this post, talk about three ways to publish — Paid Self-Publishing, Self self-publishing and Traditional publishing. I will be using terms directly as I used in my previous blog which was somewhat similar to a flow-diagram of publishing a book. I strongly recommend to continue reading this blog, but not before reading the previous post — How to Publish a Book.
Most popular and, as the name suggests, the oldest module of publishing a book. The author sends a query letter to the publishers or to the literary agency. There are many traditional publication houses in India; do a bit of research on which genre they publish and accordingly email to their editorial email id. Do not send to any other email id as that may not stand chance for the evaluation. Once you click on the send button, all major publication houses will send you back an immediate auto reply saying they will evaluate the sample chapters, synopsis within 4 to 24 weeks. For a new or budding writer, this may be like a black hole. Literally, most of the time, nothing comes out. I don’t blame them. They receive hundreds of submissions every month that they may not be able to do justice with all of them. In case, they reply positively, they will ask for the entire manuscript, and then evaluate further. This entire process is long and may take close to six to eight months. Once your book is taken up, they will ensure the quality book reaches to the readers. The Manuscript will undergo the editing process from scratch. Structure, line and copy editing will be performed. Book interior design and the cover design will be finished. They may do the off-line or online launch depending upon the budget constraint. The book will be distributed on an e-commerce website and in the physical bookstores by the publisher.
As an author, it is important to market your book. Remember, the book is your baby and you are attached emotionally with it. It is your responsibility to market it on social media and other means.
This is a time-consuming process, but once you are through with this, you can have a quality book in your hand most of the times. In this type of publishing, the Author does not pay anything to the publisher and receives royalty around 5 to 10 percent.
Paid Self Publishing:
This model of publishing is viral these days. Here, the authors pay for publishing their work. Yes, you read that right, even more, the book can be out within a fortnight. There are various packages available depending upon the service offered by the publishing company. Publisher does major services as described in a traditional model likes editing, copy editing, beta reading, proofreading, cover design, book interior design, book distribution. Remember, each one will come with a price tag. Even grand launches and off-line book distribution is possible. Like traditional publishing, here, the author does not have to wait for the publishers’ reply, for most of the times reply comes within days. And publishing work starts and finishes immediately within a promised time period. They mostly distribute the book on all the online platforms. Book marketing is again an added cost on the head of the author. I repeat, however, marketing a book is Authors’ responsibility. The author has very little control over process and quality as it depends upon the selection of the package. One advantage to the author is to enjoy a high royalty, but only if he/she can generate the sales.
The publisher of the book authors him/herself only. The author has full control here and chooses who will do a particular service. He will have to consume a lot of time in this; it involves a lot of research. The author can put his book at no cost on Amazon, which is the biggest market of the books. Normally, in this model, the author prefers to start with e-copy to test the taste of readers. However, in some cases, the author may decide to print his/her books. Again, the cost of printing has to borne by the author. Enormous efforts on marketing to be put by an author. In recent times, we have seen many examples of self-published successful authors. Authors who have been rejected by one or many publishers are taking up this model and try their luck.
My closing comment would be to aim for a traditional publisher by sending a query letter directly or through a literary agency. If this does not work and feel like persisting on story, go with the online self-publishing option which has a minimum cost to be incurred. Not before so long, for some writers, this module has turned as the biggest boon. At the same time, be prepared to give your everything into marketing your book.