Publisher vs. Self-Publishing: What do I do next?

So you want to get your book published?? Where do you go from here? Are you going to be self-published or published? Here are a few things you need to consider.

Publisher
At one time, this was the only way to go. You would send in your draft version and they would look at it and accept or reject it. More often it would be a rejection. There are many publishers out there and you have to pick the one who publishes similar types of work. I write self-help books so I need to know who publishes this type of book. If accepted, then the process of editing your work starts, to what will be acceptable to them. They print the copies and you buy it from them. They get the ISBN# and bar codes which they own and you sign a contract. They list it in their catalogue. If they sell a book, they send you the royalties.

Self-published
You write a book and want to get it published. You need it edited, and you decide to get a Publisher who specializes in self-publishing books. They will edit it (maybe) but you approve it and a contract is signed for a certain period. You own the ISBN# and bar codes. They list it in their catalogue. Not the way you want to go, alright then, you get your ISBN# and bar code (see our pamphlet on ISBN’s), and you get it printed. It is up to you where you want to sell your books through book signings, friends and families, whatever.

Distributor
Because I am a self-help author, there are many nationwide stores handling my type of book, through a local distributor. I get my books printed, get their approval, and then I send them an inventory. They then list my book in their catalogue for the stores to order. If they sell a book, they send me the royalties.

That is what a distributor does, they distribute for you. You give them an inventory and they supply the stores. Distributors aren’t always easy to get. They also take a larger discount.

Literary agent
Once you have a book either published or self-published, you could get a literary agent. If you were signing up with a big name publisher out-of-country, you need one but for just regular printing, supplying and selling, this is not necessary. This is definitely a decision you have to make for yourself.

There are a lot of considerations needed to get your book published and out there in the big world but it is totally possible with care and knowledge. Check with other authors and the library and most definitely the Mississauga Writers Group. Information is available and so is support.

Article by: Hans Victor von Maltzahn & Elizabeth Banfalvi

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