PUBLISHER VS SELF PUBLISHING
Back in the day when the traditional publisher contracted and committed to publishing a book they would handle all publicity, promotion, book tours and marketing. These days they expect the author to perform that job and will generally not look at a new author unless they have a following – on
Social media such Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest of at least 40-50K followers.
Many bestselling authors have left their traditional publishers and now self-publish. There will be traditional publishers always for the real top flight best sellers but for most authors, the benefits of self publishing are innumerable.
And the author retains integrity and control of the product.
Personally I have been published and self-published, there were advantages and drawbacks to both processes. I enjoyed being ‘the visiting author’ at publishers’ lunches and having team support from publicity and promotion departments –though they are always very overworked – and there is advantage in knowing that the job of editing and legalling a book was being taken care of in-house.
However self-publishing delivers an immediacy, and the teams of creative and technical people I have worked with outside the traditional publishing houses have been experienced, encouraging and keen to create a top quality product.
There are also opportunities these days for hybrid publishing where some costs are shared between producer and author and royalties are also shared. The secret is to find the best people to do the best jobs and agree to share a project. Like everything in the modern world, the business model is constantly changing and many technology based -companies for example Uber, Air b’n’b and trivago seem to work more efficiently than the older models.
The image of a traditional publishing house can come across as rarified, genteel and unhurried.
Self-publishing is fast, focused, internet and mobile device orientated – the new kids on the block are exciting and know how to do business in the internet age.
If you are a new author, eager to see your work in print and take control of aspects such as
marketing, social media and self-promotion – self publishing has much to commend it.
But if the big publishers come knocking on your door and promise to put all their reputation and resources behind your First book –no one will blame you for saying “yes”.