Have you dreamt about holding your newly published book in your hands? Have you thought of how proud you’d be to tell your friends, family and clients about your published book’s successes? Have you considered how you’ll feel with such an accomplishment under your belt, being a published author who’s sold books?
In 2008, I felt compelled to write a book, which later became Pay Attention, Say Thank You: Seven Rules for Joyful Living. At the time I searched high and low for the answers to publishing my book in the way that felt right for me.
I wanted to have my title published in a professional manner, sell as many copies as I could and not be taken advantage of by those who didn’t have my best interests at heart. After much research and soul searching, I decided to start my own publishing company, Dudley Court Press, to help authors with a message publish their books. Since then, I’ve published over 25 books, including the first Pay Attention, Say Thank You, and work with authors on an almost daily basis to get their own message out. And like you, many of them have questions about publishing, which is completely understandable. I once had questions too.
Ways to Publish Your Book
Book publishing continues to evolve rapidly, with new players, new technologies, new economic models and new standards emerging daily. Which is why I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned about the different publishing options from my journeys as both as an author and a publisher. What options does an author really have for getting their book published?
In traditional publishing, the publisher is the one who makes most of the decisions, including which authors get to be published and which don’t.
Traditional publishers today typically require that authors have a literary agent who represents them, a solid book proposal outlining what the book will be about and most important of all, an established customer base. If you’re not already a celebrity, here are a couple ways that you could prove your book’s sales potential to traditional publishers: having one million subscribers to your popular blog or selling hundreds of thousands of copies of your first book.
Traditional publishers take your book from manuscript to finished product on their own, paying you royalties for the rights to publish your book. You won’t have much input into how the book is presented or when; however, they will expect you to contribute a lot to marketing your book.
As the name suggests, self-publishing means publishing your book on your own. Like it or not, you get to make all the decisions related to publishing your book. This includes choosing the book’s topic, editing the book, designing the cover, laying out the book’s interior, making sure the book can be found, having the book available through different channels and last but not least, marketing the book. In self-publishing, you are limited only by your credit card and your imagination. There are many ready-made publishing services available to self-publishers; however, these services are often hard sold at inflated prices or require authors to buy large numbers of their own books.
Many self-publishers have the best of intentions for their books, but on their own they often don’t have the knowledge to produce a professional book or sell more than 100 copies.
Hybrid publishing fills a need in today’s rapidly-changing publishing landscape. Hybrid publishers, such as Dudley Court Press, combine the best aspects of both traditional publishing and self-publishing. For authors who probably won’t get a traditional publishing deal but who don’t want to go on their publishing journey alone, hybrid publishing allows authors to have a voice and produce a quality book that will sell. Authors typically pay fees for services but receive royalties on book sales.
Working with a good hybrid publisher allows an author to create a long-term relationship. In addition, a good hybrid publisher will ensure the book meets commercial industry standards, has a strong title to help readers discover it, displays a cover that markets the book effectively, has a design that’s aligned to the genre and audience, is categorized properly to ensure it can be found and includes descriptions in the right places to help with discoverability.
Hybrid publishing means that both author and publisher are invested in the book’s long-term potential for sales.
Which path to publishing will you take? As the author of your book, you’re the only one who should decide which publishing option is best for you and your book!
Would you like some more tips though? As an experienced author and publisher, I have many more words of advice to share with you for your own journey to becoming a published author. I invite you to take a look at Write the Book You’re Meant to Write: A Guide for First-time Authors.