Write Now: Are You Ready For Publishing?

You crossed the finish line.

Congratulations.

You are ready for publishing. So what does that mean exactly? Well it means that your writing can be distributed to as many people as you want to see it.

You have options.

You could send your work to an agent, hoping that the agent will want to represent you and get you a contract and published with well-known publishing houses like Hachette, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster.

These publishing houses all have guidelines when authors submit material to be published. This is known as the traditional route of publishing where an author has the support of the company that is supposed to take care of printing, copyright, book design, distribution, editing, and marketing. When looking at a book, some of that information can be found in the first few pages.

For example, at Simon & Schuster, an author must have representation.

According to the site, simonandschuster.biz/c/biz-manuscript-submissions, “Simon & Schuster does not review, retain or return unsolicited materials or artwork. We suggest that prospective authors and illustrators submit their manuscripts through a professional literary agent.”

You can also go the self-publishing route or non-traditional route. If you choose this route, you control everything from editing to cover design. You are basically representing yourself. There are self-publishing companies that will offer help. These are also known as print on demand companies, POD, and some will ask for money and some will not. In any event, this avenue is becoming more popular because authors have gone through the writing process and polished their work enough for publishing, but can’t find representation to get published the traditional way. Some of the PODs will take care of the copyright, and ISBN an author needs to sell books in a store. All formats need an ISBN, so if you want an ebook and a paperback, you will need two ISBNs. These items are things that traditional publishing houses take care of, but sometimes the author doesn’t own his copyright, someone else does. Traditional publishing houses also market the author after publishing the author’s book. With self-publishing, the author is responsible for marketing, and the cost that goes with it.

Some self-publishing companies include Smashwords, Kindle Direct, iUniverse, BookBaby, and Archway Publishing. Research is key here, and you need to find which company is best for you

There is a stigma that if one self-publishes, then one’s work wasn’t good enough to get published. I don’t believe that at all. Research authors Amanda Hocking and Bella Andre and see what they did when they decided to self-publish their work. I think you will like their stories.

I also went down the self-publishing avenue. I liked the experience, and will probably do it again at some point. I only self-published an ebook, but can get that title in a hard cover edition or paperback edition as well. With POD, the author submits an electronic file, and when a consumer wants to purchase a book, then the file gets sent to a printer contracted with the POD.

That way the author is stuck with 500 paperback books the author needs to sell.

Either way you choose to publish your work is up to you. There are upsides and downsides for each way. But most importantly is to do your own research. With traditional publishing, you may not find an agent, and consequently not get signed with a publishing house. With self-publishing, you can get your work distributed within one week of submitting your manuscript.

It’s that easy.

It’s that hard.

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