In today’s time, the biggest decision authors have to make is how they are going to publish their book. Given how easy it is to get books published through self publishing, authors are faced with the major decision of deciding what is the best publishing option for them.
First, let’s look at what publishing options are available.
We all know about traditional publishing. This is where authors or their literary agent send queries to different publishing companies in hopes of that company picking up their manuscript and publishing.
Self publishing, or indie publishing, is where the author does all the work to publish the book themselves. In this instance, the burden of the publishing and writing process is on the author.
Hybrid publishing is a somewhat new concept that not everyone knows about. It’s the median between traditional and self publishing. With a hybrid publisher, the author essentially pays a third party entity (the hybrid company) to take on the burden of the publishing process.
Now that we have discussed the options available, how do you chose what is best for you? What are the pros and cons of each? That’s what we are going to discuss today.
Pros & Cons
Historically, getting accepted with a traditional publisher can be difficult. In many cases, a literary agent is required to pitch to the larger companies. While the wait for approval, the loss of creative control, and sometimes smaller paid royalties can all be cons; traditional publishing affords the author creditability when published with a reputable publishing house. There can also often times be advances paid out, and a great quality product produced.
As previously stated, self publishing puts the burden of publishing on the author. Self publishing experiences vary by author, but have plenty of pros and what some may consider to be cons. Among the top pros for self publishing is this gives the author the highest possible royalty rate. This can also be a great convenience to the author time wise, as the author doesn’t have to wait to be accepted. The author also keeps full creative control of the work. While these are all benefits, some may still see a few cons. Historically, self publishing has gotten bad wrap for looking unprofessional. This doesn’t have to be the case though. There is also the learning curve, which can be difficult for some to understand. (If you are interested in self publishing and want to learn everything about the self publishing process, check out our Self Publishing Made Easy Webinar. It goes over everything including uploading on KDP.) One final con with self-publishing is that the author does in fact hold the burden of doing everything themselves, though some don’t mind.
While this is not one of the top two ways to publish that people know about, it is still an option. In fact, our owner Felicia used a hybrid company for 2 of her first 3 books, and then self published, which prompted her to create the publishing model we use today.
With hybrid publishing, it provides the benefits of not having the author do everything themselves, and add an ensured professional touch to the project. Depending on the company, the royalty rates may be significantly higher than that paid out in traditional publishing, though typically it still does not meet the highest paid royalty of self publishing in most cases. Similar to self publishing, the cost to publish is paid for up front by the author, though this cost can vary depending on the company. For instance, our company charges $997 for the highest publishing package, while others charge $3500, and still others can charge as low as $599 depending on what’s included. This can also include less creative control than self publishing but also typically more than traditional. Typically hybrid publishers also don’t do much marketing and leave that up to the author, or include it with additional fees.
So how do you know which is better for you?
You need to weigh ALL your overall factors. While we know cost can be one of the largest factors for most authors, how much is publishing at a significantly low cost costing you in the long run? Are you providing the best quality product that you could be? Here are all of the factors you should consider:
Cost: How much is it going to cost you up front? When considering your upfront cost, especially for self publishing, find the cover designer and format you will use and ensure you have determined how you want to obtain an ISBN. Calculate all of these costs, as well as the cost to get copies of your book and then compare with what you get through any company at their costs.
Convenience: What is going to be most convenient for you? How important is convenience to you?
Royalty Rates: How much will you receive on the back end once your book is published? Think about your profit from books sold through retailers, as well as if you are intending to sell copies of your book yourself.
Professionalism: How professional is the work you are paying for?
Marketing Efforts: How will people hear about your book? How much marketing will you need to do, or not need to do? Also consider the cost of marketing when factoring your costs.
Creative Control: What, if any, do you lose as far as your creativity is concerned? Are there clauses in your contract that prohibits you from writing any other work for anyone else or publishing anything else in another manner?
All of this is consideration that needs to be taken into account. There may even be more benefits that should be weighed prior to making the final decision.
No matter what decision you are making with one project, typically you can change your publishing style for each project. It’s all up to you.
Are you a writing looking to get published? Have a story to tell but need help getting it written down? Aspiring to be an author but need a little advice? Follow Hustle Write Publication LLC on Instagram @hustlewritepublication where there are daily writer’s tips, daily writing prompts, and other suggestions on how to be a successful author.
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