(Author Learning Center, MasterClass)
When people think about publishing their works, they most likely imagine the grueling traditional process. However, it’s not as hard as you think.
Traditional publishing consists of the writer, in this case, you, sending a query letter or a finished manuscript to either a publishing house or literary agent.
Should they accept, you’re pretty much done — you’ll sign a contract and get an up-front deposit for the rights of your book. Then, the publishing house will take over the book publishing timeline from editing to distribution.
Alternatively, if you want complete control over everything that has to do with your book, the most fitting choice would be self-publishing. There are a couple of methods to do so.
Do-it-yourself publishing is the most labor-intensive and gratifying path. This way, you’ll have complete ownership of your work, but you’ll have to pay for the whole process from your pocket. You’ll be in charge of every step — editing, designing the covers, printing the book, and creating your own book marketing plan.
General contractor publishing is a pretty expensive endeavor. It’s not as laborious as DIY, but it still requires serious effort. It involves hiring contractors (hence the name) for some parts or the whole publishing process. You’ll have to pay them, but you’ll get experts to do the things you can’t handle yourself. Initial costs may be high, so plan how to cover them.
You have the freedom to choose which things to outsource and which to take care of yourself. You also won’t share the rights to your book with anybody else. There are contractors for everything you’d need during the book publishing process. However, the more things you learn to do yourself, the less money you’ll spend.
Supported self-publishing means choosing an option from a publishing services company and paying the price for the whole package upfront. Usually, you can choose from different offers, depending on the things you need them to cover.
Unlike DIY publishing, you’ll have fewer things to do, and the budget will be much easier to meet since you have to deal with a one-time payment. The timeline for publishing a book will also be much more fast-paced.
Other methods to publish your book involve an ebook or audiobook, self-printing (also called vanity printing), or print-on-demand. The first and last options are often the most accessible and popular choices with first-time writers.
While still relatively cheaper than DIY publishing, self-printing often results in the writer losing money over unsold copies. Audiobooks are also risky as you’ll have to pay a narrator for hours of recording, but you’ll be tapping into a very profitable and rising market.