Friday, June 3, 2011

I Wrote a Book. What Do I Do With It?

There are quite a few paths to getting your book out there these days. Major houses aren't taking on as many projects, small presses are flourishing, and there's always self-publishing on the likes of Kindle. And don't forget ebook publishers.

Mainstream Publishing


Advances. That's the biggest one I can think of. All your hard work doesn't take a million years to rake in the money you get from an advance.

You have the best editors in the business work on your book to make it shine.

Your publisher has the money to promote your book.


If you don't sell enough books to pay out your advance, the publisher may not put much effort into another book or they'll pay you a smaller advance next time - if there is a next time.

Mainstream editing can make your book read like every other book out there. It all depends on your editor and what the publishing company wants.

Rumor has it major publishers mainly push bestselling authors in promotion.

Small Presses


A personal touch goes a long way. Small presses have publishing passionates who spend a lot of time on each book because they don't have gobs of books they accept. Many of them take unagented manuscripts.

Editing is more back-and-forth and more of your voice will be left intact.

Some pay a small advance.


It's difficult to get the attention of a small press. You have better luck if you have an agent, but a small press's slush pile takes a long time for them to go through because they have much smaller staffs.

Most don't offer advances. You get roughly 15% of your sales.

Small presses don't have the funds to promote like big publishers.

Ebook Publishers


Most reply back to you pretty quickly.

With how ebooks are going now, your book will be placed in all the typical ebook stations, such as the Kindle and Nook.

You get a higher percentage of your sales, usually around 30-40% of the retail price.


The editing at many ebook companies is not as good as the presses.

You will have to make your own hard copy with a free program such as Lulu or CreateSpace if you want to have a physical book.

Ebook companies don't have much money to promote you.

Indie Publishing


You have creative control of your story and book cover.

You can publish for free in places like Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. Depending on your price, you can get a good return on your books.

If you like to social network, you can sell a lot of book if you price them low enough.


There is a ton of competition. You have to spend money to have your book edited and to have a great cover to stand out from the rest. You may also need to pay someone to format your book for various ereaders.

If you social network, you have to be careful what you say. One bad post can ruin your book's chances of getting read. You can't spam your book, or nobody will want anything to do with it.

You may invest as much as $500-$1000 preparing your book, do all the social networking possible, price your book low and still get no sales. It's a risk you have to determine whether you are willing to take.


Sheila Deeth said...

Scary, helpful, and scary again... but thanks.