Which publishing path should you take?

Now you’ve decided a book is going to be a brilliant way for you to grow your brand and extend your reach,  suddenly the world of publishing opens up before you and as you ask around your family, friends and peers about the best way to get it done you find yourself faced with a variety of opinions and ideas.

Perhaps someone you know has had their book accepted and published by a large trade publisher?

Another swears by the self-publishing they did for theirs.

And you’ve heard tell of an independent ‘hybrid’ route and wonder what that’s all about.

A niggling thought that you have perhaps, is that people will only read your book if it’s published by a big publisher. But then you’re also concerned that your book is so niche it may need to be done independently. Or perhaps you worry about how much control you’ll have over the shaping of your book and how it will look and feel?

There is no one-size-fits-all here.

First, as always, it is important to think about your own objectives for the book and how you see it taking your business to the next level. It’s important to understand the different business models of publishing – who will own what and how much control you will have depending on your route.

Essentially, if you sign a publishing deal with a traditional publisher you will be handing over the rights to your book to that publisher. They will need to be able to exploit those rights in order to gain a return on the investment they make in publishing your book. Equally, they will want complete and total control over the production of the book. They may well ask your opinion about things like the design of the jacket, but at the end of the day they know their readers and their market and they will want to do things in a way they feel is right for them.

If a publisher is paying you for your book, you are effectively their supplier. If you are paying a publisher to publish your book then you are the customer. While both types of publisher have a similar function, these are two entirely different types of relationship.

Someone asked me recently if I thought readers’ perceptions altered depending on the way a book was published.

Does a traditionally published book command more credibility than one that has been published independently?

I honestly don’t believe most readers care or even notice who has published the book they are reading. As long as the book is doing a good job for them it’s of no consequence. Self-publishing sometimes does get a bad rap, but I think this is because it is too frequently done in an amateurish way. If any book falls short of editorial, design or printing standards readers expect it will of course be judged accordingly. We don’t wish to part with our hard-earned cash (or perhaps even more importantly we don’t wish to waste our precious time) on a book that doesn’t deliver.

So, however you publish your book, do so with the help of publishing experts. These may be people you commission yourself, they may be the team of an independent, author-funded publisher, or you may have successfully pitched your book to a trade publisher. If you do go down the independent route, please don’t do it cheaply.

View publishing your book as a serious investment in the future of your business. Get it right and it will pay you back many times over.

If you are either thinking about or are already in the process of writing a book, why not take time to explore the Right Book Company website, where you can book a free 30-minute consultation with Sue Richardson, sign up to our complimentary webinarlisten to our podcast and get the inspiration, help and support you need.

Sue Richardson is the Publishing Director of The Right Book Company and MD of SRA Books, publishers of forward-thinking business and personal development books for experts. Sue is the author of The Authority Guide to Publishing your Business Bookavailable from Amazon and all good bookstores.

Contact Sue if you’d like to discuss your book idea at [email protected]

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