Why is traditional publishing a broken model, and what is the publishing option no one is telling you about?
“My message is simple: take control of your life.”– Charles Barkley
You spent quite a lot of time strategizing your book, pouring your heart & soul into the content and now it’s time to get your book out to the world.
Do you really have to write tens of proposal letters to publishers and wait for months on end till one of them accepts your manuscript?
Is the publishing world as confusing as they are trying to make it look?
This is the typical story we were all told, especially in movies, about the struggling author with a dream to publish. This is partially true, yet not the full truth because the publishing world has evolved so much, especially with technological advancement, which democratized publishing as much as Uber did to the Taxi business and Airbnb to the hotel business.
If you want to get a full picture of how the whole journey of writing & publishing a book goes, you can download our free publishing guide. However, in this blog, we will outline for you:
- The two most common kinds of publishing:
– Traditional publishing
- The publishing option no one told you about
- How to use hybrid publishing as a stepping stone to traditional publishing, and
- What to look for when choosing your publisher
Let’s start with traditional publishing
…where the process is basically the typical movie scenario — you work hard to write a book, then find a literary agent to represent you, who goes knocking the doors of tens of publishers to pitch your book, hoping one of them would like it and accept it for publishing.
On the good side, traditional publishing could give you a little money up-front, some prestige, and bookstore distribution support.
But who is it for? It works best for established celebrities with a big following and full-time writers who write for a living.
BUT the on the downside, it is:
VERY SLOW – it takes around 3-6 months to even hear back from a traditional publisher and usually, the answer is NO!
A good publishing deal is VERY hard to get. You will need a literary agent who takes a cut on top of what the publisher takes, which leaves you with 3-5% of the net sales. So to explain how this translates in real life: Assuming your book sells at $20 and you are getting the best deal ever (5%), it leaves you with $1 per book sold. So even if you are content with living off $2,000 per month, that means you need to sell at least 24,000 books annually just so you can live like you were living when you were in your early twenties!
And most importantly, if you are UNLUCKY to get a yes, you lose control over your content. Traditional publishers basically tell you what to and what not to write. You simply become a surrogate mother!
Not sure why would any successful person with a real message do that!
Simply put, THIS MODEL IS BROKEN!
The Society of Authors has clearly stated “Traditional publishing is no longer fair or sustainable” (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jul/11/traditional-publishing-fair-sustainable-society-of-authors)
The second kind of publishing is Do-It-YourSELF PUBLISHING
In short, in this kind of publishing, you own 100% of everything — your copyrights to the work, as well as the headache!
It’s great if you like lots of DIY time-consuming work, assuming you are still at the beginning of your career and your time has very low value in exchange for saving a little bit of money!
But on the downside
You will waste a lot of time in trial & error to find and recruit the right team members only to find out they do part of the job and leave you hanging halfway through.
And when you eventually make it, your book will have NO credible publisher’s name associated with it, which shows you simply self-published.
Neither of them is good for you, so what is the solution?
There is a new form of publishing that is disrupting the industry the same way Uber disrupted the transport market, and that is:
Also known as Indie or hybrid publishing, this offers you the best of both worlds — The credibility & exposure of traditional publishing mixed with the freedom & cost efficiency of self-publishing with a bonus of Turn-Key packages, it’s what we call 100% passion, 0% headache!
With this, your book will be published online and be available in stores around the world. It will be available in print format in the USA, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East. Your e-book will have a distribution from more than 70 online partners serving readers across the globe. All this, with minimal effort from your side.
Of course, the catch is that you will need to invest in the finances of the publishing. Where we can easily show you a guaranteed way to get up to 10X on your investment. The question to ask here is: if you do not invest in yourself, how do you expect someone else to?!
What if I still want to go to traditional publishers?
We’re non-exclusive (so yes, you can date someone else too!)
Publishers want books they know will sell. When you have a proof of concept, you can approach traditional publishers with more confidence and you can also negotiate much better deals since your book is already on the shelves.
Publishing with us is a stepping stone towards major publishers (on your own terms). This means that you can publish with us and still be able to offer your work to other publishers.
What to look for when choosing a publisher
Your book is something that’s very personal and very professional. It’s personal to you since it is your baby, it’s about distilling your years of experience, knowledge, and personal stories in pages that people will read. And it is a professional venture that is going to impact your image and your business. Also, it is an ongoing project, starting from writing to publishing and beyond. So you really want to invest the effort into validating if you and your publisher are a good fit.
Below are some of the key criteria to consider before choosing your publisher:
- Speciality & passion
We all know about the term “jack of all trades, master of none”. If you find a publisher that covers all genres of books (function, novel, textbooks, business books, etc…). Then you know they are in it for the money, which means they will only treat your book as another item-on-the-shelf. So, look for someone who is passionate for your topic and niche of books they publish. If you check out our published books you will see we have a clear focus on transformational & personal growth books.
- Comprehensive services
Are you getting a lot of extra value for your money? Becoming a successful international author is not just about the manuscript that is going to print, it’s about so many things starting from thinking clearly about the book strategy, investing heavily to get a winning book cover (we love this one so much, we offer at least 20 variations of a book cover design to choose from), helping launch & market the book once the publishing process is done; and thinking about what happens after publishing and what kind of bonuses do you get. Sometimes, these are even more important than the actual publishing work.
- Time to market
Nowadays, speed is the key to success. If it’s going to take months to chase a publisher to even respond to you, in case of a traditional publisher. Then by the time your book is published, you might have missed the right window of opportunity. Typically, a well-done publishing process should not take more than 3-4 months if you are responsive. Also, you should equally be worried if someone promises much shorter deadlines because it could mean that they are cutting corners which impacts quality.
If you want to grow, you need a passion tribe. Check out the portfolio of authors that the publishers worked with, how successful these authors are outside just the book. (do they have decent websites, what appears when you type their name on Google, etc…) And ask your publisher how collaborative their authors are. This is how an industry is built. Becoming successful is not just about the book, it’s about the tribe that supports each other to grow.
Do you get 100% control?
This is your dream project. Do not let the allure of getting small money upfront or low-cost publishing services blind you from what is more important.
We have seen many authors come to us in tears because after all the hard work. They do not even have access to their source files and it ends up costing them double the time and money to redo the whole process, that is even assuming they own the rights.
- Clear list of deliverables:
Make sure you can easily understand what you are paying for. It’s very easy for you to be misled into thinking what you are getting is all you need, but you really do not know what is missing. Ideally, you want to find someone who offers turn-key-packages that take care of your book project end-to-end.
- Fine print:
Make sure to ask about what is not included, sometimes it is more important than what is included. A lot of shady publishers, and sometimes established ones. Play the game of excluding so many costs to make their packages look cheaper. But eventually, end up charging a lot for the extras. Look for a publisher who is clear and upfront of what is their fine print. If they are hiding it then you should be worried what else are they hiding.
One of the examples we use of how things can go wrong when you do not consider the above is Dr. Hanan Selim who had reached out to us for the publishing of her first book. She first thought that the price was too expensive when compared to other cheaper publishers. She went ahead with the publisher offering the lowest price.
Few months after publishing. She had a great business opportunity where she needed her book source files to make some updates. But she found herself with a publisher who did not respond to her anymore.
She lost access to her sources files, which means she was now stuck with her dream frozen in time.
When she came back to us, we had to totally re-publish her book Second Chances and get it to market in a few months — doing everything, right from redesigning the interior of her book, and all the way to giving her the winning book cover that her personal brand deserved. Now her speaking & coaching career took a quantum leap and she is using the book to get recognized as a top authority in her field.
Hopefully, this blog gave you insights into choosing the right publisher for you, and maybe you would like to explore our turnkey packages to see which one is the best fit for you.
Regardless of publishing with us or with someone else, please do go ahead and publish your book. You have a message to share, the world is waiting for your book!