Is Publishing a Book Right For Me? A Run-Down For Authors Who Are New to the Publishing Industry

Is Publishing a Book Right For Me? Increasingly more authors and professionals are taking the dive into publishing books. I have been witness to countless authors who have persevered to create titles that were both personally and economically rewarding. Whether it’s the devoted writer who’s been crafting her narrative for years, or the personal trainer wanting to publish a fitness guide for his own gym, the satisfaction of seeing one’s hard work in print is a lifetime accomplishment. Not to mention, a careful and effective distribution plan to sell a new book can net its author over $20,000 in the first year.

Let’s define ‘Publisher’. For the purposes of this article, a publisher is a person who has written or brainstormed content for a book, and has directly hired all the resources and book editors needed to edit, design, print, market and sell the book. The full job of a “publisher”, in fact, doesn’t stop after book printing, but continues through actively selling and marketing the book as well.

What makes a publishing endeavor successful?

The best way to understand publishing is to view it as a journey-a multi-faceted process of frequent book edits, layout design, art direction, copy editing and selling/marketing to customers. When taking the first step in publishing a book, educating yourself on the reality of the publishing business and realistically assessing your own personal strengths and weaknesses is vital. The most successful publishers who take this journey come prepared with knowledge of the industry, and help from the right type of book publishing companies along the way.

Get Help – Enlist Experts to Guide You

Imagine you are about to embark on a journey into a territory you’ve never navigated before, where there is no clear path, where competition with others is fierce, and copyright laws are murky. You’d want a guide to go with you, wouldn’t you?

In a field where there are about as many roads to publishing books as there are reasons to publish, I recommend working with a book publishing company, or book packager. Book packagers do exactly as the name implies: package a book from start to finish, from its first manuscript to its final sales and marketing. Unlike Subsidy Press, a book packager is personally invested in the success of the books they publish. When a book packager begins work on a project, the quality, comprehensiveness, and consumer success of the finished project directly reflect the aptitude of both author and book packager.

“Know Thyself”-Realistically Addressing Your Publishing Concerns

Once authors get their feet wet in the publishing industry, the process may still seem mystifying and risky, and they can feel a very real sense of trepidation. It is also common for those new to the industry to become guarded when communicating with publishing professionals and book publishing companies. Worries while publishing a book and doubting your book’s outcome and success are completely normal!

A call and conversation with a book publishing company is a helpful first step in determining what it takes to produce a book. A book project requires much time and planning, and speaking with someone within a book publishing company can realistically help you identity goals and limitations will be crucial to a smart business plan. As a publisher in the business for 30 years, I’ve found people to be suspicious and nervous to commit at many stages, simply because they are wary of what they don’t understand. I have multiple conversations with potential publishers as we consider a business plan together, and typically each phone call gets less and less guarded as some of the mystery to publishing a book is taken away.

Bring it Home-Selling & Marketing Your Book

Frequently, I will meet an author who is extremely skilled at writing and wishes to publish, yet lacks the technical experience to produce that successful book design. Other publishers manage well enough to package a good book, yet fall short in the selling & marketing aspects of publishing (a separate yet entirely vital aspect on its own). That is why an honest assessment of your own strengths and weaknesses will put you heads above other publishers when it comes time to sell. If you know you are someone who does not enjoy marketing and self-promoting, simply recognizing this will identify which areas will need extra planning.

Realistically, the best chance of marketing a book after it’s been published is with authors who already have a network of followers in their field. A network is a group of people or potential customers that have some level of relationship with the author. Some of the most successful authors Sea Hill Press has worked with in the past include coaches, chefs, lecturers and teachers, each of whom had a pool of students and fans to directly market their work. Relationships with potential readers can be built and maintained through simple name recognition, and using low-cost strategies, such as e-mailing lists. In a business where large Book Wholesalers and Distributors charge outsized fees to distribute at virtually no risk to themselves, a great move is to follow alternative models of distributing your work.