FAQ Tag: marketing

What are the choices in publishing models?

There are currently three strong models for publishing in North America.

Traditional publishing is where a house/company vets and approves your book, creates the product and pays you small royalties based on sales. In addition to the work of the publisher, you will still need to take an active role in marketing the book.

Hybrid publishing uses the same vetting and acquisition process, and you as an author may help offset the cost of the publishing of the book by helping pay for the production of the book (a fee) ahead of time or, in some cases, by offsetting the cost against future royalties. Royalties in this model are usually and significantly higher as you have already helped pay for the production of the book. Both the publisher and the author share the load on marketing the book.

In Self Publishing, you are fully and completely responsible for your work. You and you alone determine it the book is even worth publishing. You might hire freelancers here and there to help, but the risk and reward(?) are all yours. All marketing is up to you.

Note well that vanity-style publishers will publish absolutely any trash you bring them as long as you have the money. The traditional and hybrid models are not the same as vanity publishing. This is an important distinction.

Should Authors Have a Following Before Publishing?

General answer: If you have an audience of proven buyers, then that will help you get published. If you have little or no audience, that will slow down the process. If you have a huge audience that doesn’t already buy from you, then that is a toss up and probably a problem.

“Platform” is now a consideration for publishers just as good writing is a consideration. It’s a new world and authors are as much of the sales conversation/process as anything else.

We see works all the time from authors who have a good idea for a book but they have no audience-engagement and don’t intend to engage. That’s a hard “no” then from most of us as publishers. We can’t pour thousands of dollars into an author who refuses to be a modern, engaged, accessible, and active part of the publishing/marketing process. Welcome to the new world.

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