Discover Your Best Path to Book Publishing
Obstacle: “I’m overwhelmed with all the different paths to publishing my book, and I’m not sure which one to choose.”
In this blog post, you will learn about the different paths to publishing your book and clarify which makes the most sense for you, your book, and your business.
If you're an entrepreneur or leader with a book idea, you should know a few things about publishing your book before you begin writing.
Getting your book into the hands of your readers involves several detailed steps that are accomplished in coordination with a variety of professionals. With some thoughtful planning and a clear understanding of the impact you want your book to make, you’ll be ready to choose the right publishing path for your book.
Let's explore the three main options you have in publishing your book. The confusion around publishing choices can overwhelm many aspiring authors before they begin writing. So, let's dive in and explore some important details that can help you make the right choice in publishing your book.
1. The first option is ‘Do it yourself’ or DIY Publishing
In this option, the author completes all the publishing tasks by searching for, interviewing, vetting, and managing independent contractors who will handle the various steps of the publishing process, including editing, design, and book launch. The timeline will vary and depends upon many factors, including the author’s time and availability to manage the process. The costs associated with this track will depend upon the fees of the contractors chosen by the author, which gives you some financial control over the process. The other perks of self-publishing include creative control, copyright ownership, and 100 percent of royalties from your book sales.
It's important to note that many aspiring authors only consider the out-of-pocket expenses involved in self-publishing and don’t estimate the amount of time to budget for this process. Your time is valuable, so don’t forget to add your hourly rate to the cost of the DIY option. Doing all the legwork and vendor management can become a full-time job until your book is published or can delay your publishing date if you cannot commit sufficient time to the process. Ask yourself, “How much is my time worth per hour?” then consider how much time you can budget for the process and whether this option makes the best sense.
2. The second option is Hybrid Publishing
This fee-for-service option handles all the details of the publishing process for you while giving you creative control. This is our approach here at Modern Wisdom Press. As an independent hybrid book-coaching service and publisher, we guide you through a proven process to clarify your business goals and coach you in writing a book that will help serve those goals. We then manage the entire publishing process from start to finish. Modern Wisdom Press might be a good option if you were considering a hybrid publisher like Scribe Media, which recently scaled back its operations.
Our dedicated team of professional book editors and designers partner with you to guarantee your book is a high-quality, professional product delivered to the marketplace. There are many benefits to choosing a hybrid publishing option, including content ownership and maintaining creative control while freeing up a significant amount of your time so that you can run your business, promote your book and business offerings, and have time for your personal life, too.
Not all hybrid publishers offer business coaching or writing and editing support, so research what's included. It's important to understand the publishing package, your rights to content ownership, and the percentage of royalties you'll receive from your book sales. Hybrid publishers charge anywhere from $15K to six figures, depending on the services provided. Full ownership of your content is important for entrepreneurs, as it allows you to repurpose your content however best serves your business. Many of our authors use their book content to create online programs, digital courses, workshops, keynotes and signature talks, which is important to know as you consider the return on your investment.
Publishing timeframes can vary as well. The sooner your book gets into the world, the better for your readers and your business, so our books will be available on the market within just a few months of the first draft completion.
Some fee-for-service publishers are happy to take your money (as well as a percentage of your royalties) without much attention to the book’s content or quality, so be sure to review testimonials or speak to one of their published authors about their experience. Choosing a hybrid publisher who is invested in your vision and success as an author is important!
3. The third option is Traditional Publishing
In this scenario, the author seeks a traditional book publisher who will control the entire creative and publishing process. The benefit of this track is access to the publisher's professional team and their distribution system and marketing support. Most authors who choose this route must create a compelling book proposal and hire a book agent who will charge a fee to contact publishers on your behalf.
Most traditional publishers require first-time book authors to have a large and established following or brand recognition and a marketing plan for their book. Otherwise, they are not poised to offer an advance on your potential book sales.
Traditional publishers may receive up to 90% of royalties from book sales and they assume ownership and creative control of your book’s design and content. Plus, they are relying more and more on the author to do the book marketing to their platforms on their behalf. This route can take up to two years for your book to become available on the market and reach its audience. It’s important to note that while it’s difficult for a first-time author to get a book deal with a traditional publisher, some will sign on authors who have previously published with a hybrid publisher or through self-publishing.
So, as you consider these three main paths to publishing your book, know your vision for your book and your goals for yourself as an author and for your business. Clarity on your goals (as well as your budget and available time) will help you to determine the publishing path that makes the most sense for you. Here's to sharing your wisdom and getting your book into the world, whichever route you choose!
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