Becoming a Publisher: A Positive Choice for Authors

The book is written, proofed, edited and re-read until you feel as if your eyeballs will bleed, you've "sent it out" and now the wait begins.
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The book is written, proofed, edited and re-read until you feel as if your eyeballs will bleed, you've "sent it out" and now the wait begins. If you have chosen to go the way of traditional publishing, you have either submitted through an agent where you have discovered that most agents contract your work for a minimum of a year in which time they actively send a proposal concerning your manuscript to acquisition editors at publishing houses. Or you have submitted your work through a submissions section of an established publishing house, one that accepts un-agented manuscripts.

While you've gone this route, you are completely aware that there are lots of great books that don't get picked up by the industry and many authors who feel disempowered by rejection responses. However you are also completely, all right almost completely, certain that your book will be an "exception to rejection" and you will have a best-selling novel. You know that many writers going the traditional route never sold a thing, but those who did have their books chosen by the big publishing houses received affirmation as a writer, received an advance, and had a chance at being the author of a best-seller. You have to take the chance. And, I firmly believe that you should take it. I did and after my share of rejection letters, six of my books were traditionally published.

In less than a year, reality sets in. Your novel is either picked up for publication or you receive a polite rejection letter or email. After the initial hurt,(You rejected MY novel? Two years of my life and blood, sweat, and tears! Why, oh why? hair-pulling, teeth-gnashing, crying), you take a breath, decide to regroup your resources, and look around for other options, one of which may be to find a new agent. That's starting all over again on the crazy merry-go-round of sending out your work. Okay, fool around with the idea of self-publishing. Let's face it, you believe in the book. You have years of "creation" left in you and you definitely want your books to be published. So why not do it on your terms? You have to ask yourself these questions: Is this a book in which a traditional publisher really might be interested? and Is this a book over which I want to relinquish control? Should I self-publish?

Now I know a few authors who self-publish their books. Some are successful, some not so much. You need to do your homework very well before venturing into the realm of self-publishing. I highly recommend checking the web site Preditors & Editors. It is a legitimate, well-known web site that gives information on a large number of publishers and agents as well. You will learn which ones are recommended, which ones are not, and, most importantly, which ones to avoid at all costs. Vanity publishers are ones to be avoided as they are, to put it bluntly, thieves. They sell you services they aren't competent to provide and they overcharge you for what they do. Steer clear!

So now what? Rather than becoming self-published, a very good option is opening your own small or boutique publishing house by yourself or with other authors. I do recommend that you have at least one other person in this business with you. Doing it alone is not a good option as there is a lot to do.You also have to remember that this requires a cash outlay and a lot more attention to detail, as you are responsible for the financial aspects of your book from the purchasing of the ISBN number to the printing of the books themselves. You also need to purchase a domain and set up a professional looking website and obtain a tax ID; this makes your publishing house a real business and you a real publisher.

Your best move as a publisher is to hire legitimate custom publishing professionals who will provide the services of editing, marketing, cover design, printing, warehousing, and distribution. A good custom professional and design studio is a Godsend to you as the publisher. Your boutique publishing house is a smaller version of the big league ones. Make yourself knowledgeable about publishing and have the skills to do some of the work and the ability to hire smart people to do what you can't. It's a business, treat it like one. Many professional novelists are opening small publishing houses to republish the out-of-print novels they wrote years ago for traditional publishers.

The final thing you have to do, one that many authors with the bigger publishing houses have had to largely do on their own is marketing and publicity. This is easier with social media; use it well.

The world of publishing is changing dramatically and rapidly. Authors are looking for ways to get their books published and boutique publishing houses look very attractive because of the personal touch afforded by a smaller house. You may start out small publishing books of your own and a select few other authors and stay small or expand later on. Becoming a publisher is a wise choice for an author.
Happy writing!

Grave Misgivings, the second book in A Cate Harlow Private Investigation series will launch on July 15, 2015 and will available where all books are sold.
©copyright 2015 Kristen Houghton The Savvy Author all rights reserved

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