Tuesday, March 06, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER: What Road to Publication Should You Choose?

What Road to Publication Should You Choose?
by Stacy-Deanne

This is a question many writers struggle over. There are more options for publishing a book than ever before. The trick is to pinpoint what fits your goals and your idea of success. Some writers work better with a publisher and others without. Below I’ve outlined different modes of publication so you can choose what would be the best for you.

1. Commercial Publishing

Commercial publishing falls into three different categories. You can publish with a big house, small press or an e-publisher. Let’s break down the differences between each of those so you’ll get a better idea.

a) Big Houses

If you intend to seek publication with one of the big six publishers or their imprints then you first need an agent. Some accept unagented submissions but overall you should seek out an agent to better your chances at big house publication.

b) Small/Independent Presses

A small or medium-size house can be a writer’s best friend. Being with a small press is like self- publishing with a team. You get the best of both worlds. You get the control over your work you wouldn’t get with a big house but also the expertise of a publisher. Small presses do everything a big house does. They design the book, edit it, market it, promote it, get reviews, etc. Not all small presses are the same though. Some don’t have the budgets to do what a lot of writers expect so you must weigh the pros and cons before signing on. A small press is a wonderful opportunity for most writers and most do not require an agent.

c) Epublishers

Yep, there are reputable, respected publishers out there that only publish ebooks. Most of them specialize in novels and mainly romance and erotica. There are a few that have opened up lines for other genres and some that publish all genres. Epublishers are a great way for a writer to get their work out there and build an audience. They are also good for writers of short works such as short stories and novellas. Epublishers do everything a print house would. They design the book, edit and promote it. They also have a faster turnaround than a print publisher. If you write in a genre you don’t believe fits print publishers than epublishers are definitely something to consider.

Be aware that your book will not be in print. Some epublishers offer print editions of books that sell a certain amount but usually your work will only be available as an ebook. If your heart is set on having your work in print and on physical shelves then epublishing is not for you.

2. Vanity Publishing

A lot of people are confused by vanity presses. Vanity publishing and self-publishing are two very different things. With vanity publishing you are paying a company for a service. They do almost what a commercial house does but for a fee. Vanity presses work well for releasing timely pieces that need to get on the market fast, books that appeal to a small or local audience, pamphlets or recipe books.

Vanity publishing isn’t cheap. Companies’ prices range from a few thousand and up.

The saying is that money flows to the author but remember, vanity publishing is fine if the author knows upfront they will have to pay and agree to the terms. If a vanity house is passing itself off as a commercial press yet charging, that’s a scam and you should avoid these predators. Commercial publishers never, ever charge authors for anything.

There are a lot of scammers in the vanity publishing arena. Some companies will charge for fees they never intend doing so if you choose this method make sure you research companies carefully.

3. Self-Publishing

This is when you do everything yourself. You are the writer, book designer, distributor, accountant, overseer, marketer, everything. You will be all alone. Some writers don’t mind doing it all but what about those who don’t want all that responsibility but still wanna self-publish? Well there are reputable self-publishing companies that will aid you in publishing your book for a fee. They are usually much cheaper than a vanity press. Self-publishing companies will do everything for you accept write the book, edit it or promote it. They will design a cover for you and distribute it for you as well as have it available for online retailers or for order for brick and mortar stores. Other than that you are on your own.

If you do decide to self-publish you should invest in a decent editor for your books. It’s your responsibility to make sure your work is at its best.

It’s 2012 and the road to publication is endless but you must be smart. Make sure the mode of publication you’ve chosen will fit your goals. At the end of the day it’s all about you and the best thing for your book.

Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is a novelist of crime fiction, mysteries, and suspense. She’s been writing professionally since 19-years-old, and her work includes “Everlasting,” “Melody” and “Giving up the Ghost.” Stacy is profiled along with notable authors in the NAACP-nominated 2006 book, “Literary Divas: The Top 100+ African-American Women in Writing.” Her current release “Giving up the Ghost” is a 2011 African-American Literary Award nominated novel and a 2012 Top 20 Black Expressions Bestseller.

The Season of Sin by Stacy-Deanne coming February 2012

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1 comment:

Rekaya Gibson said...

This article summed it up nicely. So many people ask me these questions, but now I am going to refer them to this post. Thank you for sharing.

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