Here is where you really get to celebrate, you have a finished polished book! JK this is where the rest of it begins.
There are two major ways to get a book published. Traditionally or on your own with self-publishing. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and navigating the publishing side of writing takes a whole different set of skills including, marketing and business.
Traditional publishing is the most common for first time authors, as it gives you some added guidance over self-publishing. However even when publishing with a traditional publisher you will still be largely responsible for the marketing and advertising aspects of your book.
Pros to this style of publishing include not having to put up a large amount of your own capital in order to fund the release of your book, editing and other costs are often covered under a traditional publisher. Though this can vary, it is generally suggested that you should not have to pay for the publishing of your book through a traditional publisher, as a legitimate publisher should never request payment for publishing or publication services.
Additionally you are also paid an advance though this can depend on many factors including if this is your debut novel or if you have been published before. If the latter, than how successfully your past work has done, as well as how much of an audience you have, either with previously published pieces or through social media or blogging, etc. Other pros include the likelihood that your book will be sold in actual book stores without having to jump through near the amount of hoops that a self-published author might be subjected to for that coveted shelf space.
On the topic of blogging, there are many different ways a piece is published, books and novels many the typical thought that come to mind when thinking about publishing. Form e-books to blog posts there are many different mediums that you can decide to publish your work in.
Cons to traditional publishing include limits to your creative and actual control of your work. Since the publishing company owns the ISBN number associated with your work, they then have the right to control the cover design, and even which aspects of your story actually make it into the published book in order to make it more marketable, etc. These things can be hard to hand over to a company that is most likely more concerned with making a profit than the literary integrity of your work, which by now has become more like your child at this point.
I will be going over a lot more about the technical ins and outs of traditional publishing in another post to come, so stay tuned.
For those looking to keep total creative control of their work self-publishing might be more of the route to go.
Pros to this form of publishing can include that you as the author will have the sole rights to decide what is on the cover of your book, and whether or not you have to censor your characters and plot in a specific way and much more.
There are cons to self-publishing as well however, you may have total creative freedom but that comes at a cost, the cost of editing, publishing and printing, your books as well as in marketing and various other things including the ISBN numbers, yes you will need more than one if you plan on publishing paper and hardback copies of your book as well as e-book versions etc.
My two cents, which you are welcome to completely ignore based on your own knowledge of your current situation and book. Self-publishing is not for the faint of heart, and for many first time authors traditional publishing maybe the right route to take, the added guidance could help lead your book to a larger audience and more exposure.
That being said, it can be vary hard to put yourself out there, and even more discouraging to send out your work, only to have it turned down repeatedly. Don’t give up, if the story you have written is one that is meant to be shared with the world you have many ways of getting it out there available to you.
Your first book likely won’t be your masterpiece and if you can always take the whole thing as a learning process, the next time around you will be sure to write a better story, and you might even find the gusto to self-publish it on your larger fan base because of your first book.
There a so many different ways that your story can be written and told, as well as shared. So be sure to research all your options and make decisions based on your own situation.
This is coming from someone who was dead set on self-publishing all the way until I actually got deep into the writing process with my first book. It’s not admitting defeat to sign with a traditional publisher it can in fact be really helpful to have people to turn to and support your success throughout this whole process. On the other hand, as someone who likes learning form themselves in order to improve as a whole, I know that my current ideas and concepts as to what is the right way to do things will likely change over time. The most import thing is to take everyone’s opinion, even your own, with a grain of salt.