This is an ongoing topic — 5th excerpt posting from my writing speech:
Remember, these are just my opinions and suggestions. Nothing is set in stone. Other writers could answer quite differently and argue with me over my answers. What works for one person may not work for another.
With my experience, a couple of weeks after I sent off those initial submissions, one publisher in particular asked that I send him the full manuscript by email. Then he contacted me only a few days later and basically wanted to publish my book. He sent a contract, I read and thought it over along with several other people I enlisted for guidance, and decided to sign. My publisher is a very small publishing house. I like them and it’s only taken a few months to get a book published. I haven’t had any real problems & I’m allowed a great deal of input in the process of publishing my books… BUT because of how small they are, they cannot afford & don’t have the time or manpower to constantly be marketing my books.They do take care of some basic promoting and press releases when the book is first released and setting up at internet sites for the book to sell at – example would be Amazon.com.
Being involved in promoting your book is something most publishers and agents EXPECT an author to do – even the big ones expect authors to do some kind of marketing in this day and age. It’s never-ending and another monster topic all to itself. Bookstores, what few there are, want to stock books that will move quickly off their shelves from known authors and bigger publishers and authors that have had tons of media attention. They don’t like taking chances on books that sit and gather dust from authors that few readers are familiar with when those bookstores financially do not bring in massive profits. My books are for sale at all the major online sites where you can buy books (like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, thru my publisher), and from me, and they’re currently stocked at Box TV and Walgreens in Highland.
Also, many publishers won’t even take a glance in your direction if you don’t have an agent. This can be a problem if you chose to bypass an agent and you had your heart set on a certain publisher and then discover – nope, they do NOT take unsolicited submissions – which usually means you HAVE to have an agent that submits on your behalf. Submission guidelines will state this for you – whether you have to have an agent or if an author can submit and deal directly with the publisher. If you forego an agent, and the publisher will accept queries/submissions from an author, then YOU will deal with the contract that is written up by the publisher – or your lawyer if you choose. Again, it IS a contract so be sure to understand what you’re signing and that the publisher isn’t trying to swindle any type of royalties that should be in your pocket instead of theirs. Some publishers, especially mid-size and larger, will offer more services that automatically come with having them as your publisher, but the smaller the publisher, the more extras YOU will have to step up to the plate and help out with.
Self-publishing is something 2 years ago I had zero interest in. The publishing industry has changed so fast and so much since then, I am now all for self-publishing. My next book, in a different series, WILL be self-published using Amazon.com’s services. I will offer the book in paperback format but will focus promoting it more so in the Kindle ebook format. I will also upload it on Barnes and Noble and Smashwords as an ebook. The reason I’m going the way of self-publishing for this new series is that although I don’t have any issues with my publisher, I feel I can do the publishing myself with what is available now. In a way, I’m already playing the part of agent, partial editor and publicist! As mentioned previously, there is minimal promotion that my publisher can offer, especially once the book has been published for a month or so. I completely understand their limitations with promoting my books and am not cutting them down. In fact, I am pleased with their quality and service with what they can offer me.
Another MAIN, HUGE reason I’m switching to self-publishing with the new series is the amount of money I can pocket is drastically higher than the royalties (or commissions or profit) I’m currently making with a publisher. Also, I can set the price of my ebooks on Amazon to a lower price. The process to format my manuscript into an ebook is smoother and has become less complicated over the last year, too. I love working on computers and enjoy marketing, so I’m actually looking forward to creating an ebook!
And another thing with self-publishing, the final product, the book – is made available to the public much faster than all the waiting that is common in traditional publishing. Again, I admit – I’m impatient. I can also have a lower price on the paperback books, compared to what my publisher charges, and I’ll make the paperbacks available through Amazon’s CreateSpace.