It’s not enough to write a great book. I learnt that the hard way in 2013. I may have deleted the 200 rejection letters that appeared in my inbox – but that’s one painful experience I can never erase, no matter how hard I try.
Since then, I have worked with many authors who are amazing writers but get stuck when it comes to dealing with the commercial side of publishing. It’s a sentiment I understand all too well. I was once in those very same shoes – wondering how in the world I was ever going to achieve my lifelong dream of publication.
I’ve learnt it all the hard way so others won’t have to.
To provide insight into the publication process, the team at Mith Books is delighted to take you through the four pillars of publishing.
The publisher facilitates the process via which your work reaches readers. This includes: editing, marketing, distribution and promotion.
In traditional publishing, the publisher takes full responsibility for editing, marketing, distribution, and promotion. Although it may appear to be an easy option, it has its own limitations.
With self-publishing, authors have to bear the expenses of the services that they are availing of the publishers. Depending on their vision and their needs, authors can select the parts of the process that they wish to do on their own – and hire freelancers and author consultancy firms to do the rest.
In the next pillar, we take you through the journey that comes with each choice.
Publishing houses are highly selective about what they will publish. They typically do not accept manuscripts directly from authors. Authors must first submit a query letter to a literary agent. The literary agent then approaches publishing houses – who may either accept or reject the manuscript.
In the lucky event that a publisher is interested in acquiring a manuscript – it usually offers the writer an advance against royalties. As for how much this advance is, it varies from manuscript to manuscript. For instance, JK Rowling, who is now described as the richest author in the world, received only £2,500 for her first book.
According to Writer’s Digest, “An advance is a signing bonus that’s negotiated and paid to the author before the book is published. It’s paid against future royalty earnings, which means that for every dollar you receive in an advance, you must earn a dollar from book sales before you start receiving any additional royalty payments.”
From beta-reading to post-publishing marketing – there are a wide range of services that authors can choose from. Moreover, authors can exhale a sigh of relief as they escape the vicious cycle of rejection from traditional publishers.
The option of self-publishing favours the author in many ways. The author has full authority to decide when and how to publish the book. He or she also retains all rights relating to the book.
And most importantly, the author receives 100 percent of the profits.
Regardless of the process you choose – one truth remains. Whether you decide to traditionally publish or self-publish – both options demand considerable commitment, effort and time from the author.
With technology advancement in full swing, there are a motley of options for budding authors looking to publish their work.
The Passage is the format with which you interact with your audience. They open the pathways with which the author’s words reach readers from all over the world. These pathways apply to both traditional and self-publishing.
The author has a plethora of options. Paperback and hardcovers, e-books, audiobooks, podcasts and the like. This means that the author can cater to the demands of not only readers – but listeners as well.
Gone are the days when a bibliophile is spotted holding a huge stack of books. Now they can be found browsing on gadgets and consuming different kinds of content in a variety of ways. The amazing thing about the evolution of publishing industry is that now you can find your audience anywhere and reach them via a variety of different paths.
While publishing a book, it is of paramount importance to understand who your audience is. There is a reader for every book out there. The purpose of the first three Ps is to to reach readers – the people who will enjoy, understand and resonate with your words.
Beta-readers and editors are invaluable in providing relevant feedback about the world of publishing. They offer constructive feedback and polish up your words so they may resonate with readers. A good book cover also goes a long way in presenting the face of your book to the world.
With these 4 Ps in the right place, you can immensely enjoy the exciting journey of getting your voice heard. So, unleash the author within you and take the first step towards realising your dream of publication.
About the Authors
Dipa Sanatani is the Merchant of Stories. She delights in gazing out at the ocean and jumping in. She sees life as one great adventure and is an ardent student of the human experience. She is the author of The Little Light and the Founder of Mith Books. She works in a top secret day job.
Udita Nayak is a bibliophile who wants to explore the world and pen down all her adventures. She has an inclination towards things that have artistic significance. She strongly believes in the power of ripple effect and dreams of publishing her own book in future. During the day, she works in consulting.