WRITING TIP ONE
HOW TO FIND: A PUBLISHER-EDITOR-COVER ARTIST
AS WELL AS ANSWERING THE QUESTION ... IS IT BETTER TO SELF-PUBLISH?
Hi there! I could have easily made this a FAQs and zoomed through most of these, however seeing as getting a book published sometimes seems as shrouded in mystery as what came first, the chicken or the egg; how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie pop, or what is a woman really thinking when she is giving her man 'the look', let's try to answer some of these a little more one-on-one style.
First is the three ways to get your book published. Traditional, vanity and self. Traditional publishing goes all the way from the 'Big Six', as they are commonly referred to: Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Random House, Macmillan, The Penguin Group, and Hachette, to the smaller LLC (Limited Liability Company.)
While it's good to be published by one of these big companies, it doesn't guarantee success of your book. Think of it this way ... you're a very good baseball player and you get signed by a major team, then within a year fall apart. You think that contract will be renewed? The big six are in this business for the same reason as all the others: to make money. Another issue is they print thousands of books and you my friend, after the glow-dust settles of being signed with a bigwig, may find yourself ignored more than the drum tech of the Barry Manilow broadway show. Sometimes it's better to be a bigger fish in a smaller bowl. 😉
So now we have the hundreds upon seemingly hundreds of smaller LLC publishing companies. Here is the 411 on many of these:
Let's say you like hamburgers. I do too. They're yummy. You decide you want to make and sell them. Personally, I'm all for it and wish you the best of luck. I'm with Jules from Pulp Fiction..."I DO love a tasty burger!" So, you get some money together and start the adventure (for being a publisher, not the next Big Kahuna Burger franchisee): Start up costs, learning about contracts, website, promotion, editors, formatters, graphic artists, lawyer to fine-tooth comb all of this, freelance versus employees, supplying the ISBN for all print and digital formats, distributors, printing company...shall I go on? You get the point, and this is exactly why many publishing (and restaurant) companies fail. YOU, my wonderful and fellow sufferer in the ever-quest to getting your novel published, find yourself perhaps accepted by one of these companies, but little to nothing else happens sales-wise afterwards.
Safe guarding yourself is foremost. Many times an author gets the raw end of a contract not because the publishing house is out to screw them, they simply don't know any better. Check on them BEFORE signing that contract. You will be able to see how reputable they are and by simply talking to them, you can learn a LOT. Are they experienced? Do they have an arms length of complaints listed against them online? Is their communication with you done so in a timely manner?
Now there is also the Vanity Press. The very last thing I want to do is talk bad about any company, but honestly, you will be doing yourself much more the favor by hiring an editor and getting someone to do your artwork than paying a Vanity publishing company THOUSANDS of dollars to have them make your book. For self-publishing, I would always recommend createspace or smashwords. One, it will cost you the fraction of what they charge you at a Vanity Press, and two, don't be sold when they tell you they will 'promote' your work to a billion websites and reviewers. Believe me on this...they don't. I've been there, done that with them.
Self-publishing is great but remember, it is all on you to get the editing and artwork done. Also the formatting. Unless you're paying them (i.e. createspace) to format the manuscript for you, what you send is what they print, mistakes and all. Your royalty percentage may be higher, but if you only sell three books...well....
So promotion is a factor. 99% of the time, YOU are responsible for, well...ALL the promoting. Many small companies may tell you they will put in to marketing what you do, but in my experience, I ain't seen it yet...lol.
So, with all this being said...stay tuned. How about a publishing company that will professionally get your book out there, properly edited, with the best artwork on the cover and back, and provide a P.A. (personal assistant) AND a promoter on the companies dime?
Like I've said, Laura and I have walked in your shoes and know not only what an author wants, but what they need as well.