How many of us are writers behind the closet?
How many of us aspire to write a successful book?
There will be that school girl who attains full marks in essay writing, and believes she could write even better. Then there must be some boy who blogs his thoughts, and wishes to publish a book for the world to read one day. Everyone has a story to tell, and there are many struggling writers behind the closet. If you are a writer then it will come naturally to you, but how to make it available for the world is altogether a different story. A writer creates a new world from the scratch, and in order for it to thrive there must be a window for the world to peek in. Feedback, reviews, honest criticism is hard work paid off for the writer, but when writing becomes the source of income; it really is icing on the cake.
The conventional way for publishing a book is through authorized publishing houses. A good writer has the story, and a complete knowledge about the topic he/she wishes to write about. It is a long procedure and requires a writer to have a literary agent or solicited submission. Next step is to get the manuscript edited, proof read, formatted followed by designing graphics and cover. Last, but not the least is to make the book seen and available on shelves i.e. marketing and distribution. Once the work is accepted, editors negotiate the purchase of intellectual property rights and agree on royalty rates. Usually royalty rates are 10-12% of recommended retail price. Reputable publishing companies only sign contracts with those authors, whose books would sell well, hence making it difficult for unknown authors to get a publishing contract. These successful writers face less difficulty in bringing out their book. Whereas, for new writers or less known authors it is like sweating blood.
Traditional Publishing is an enduring and expensive affair especially for those issuing book for the first time. If accepted by the publishers; it is a gamble on whether your books would sell or not. The 21st century has brought technological advancement to publishing industry. It has given hope to aspiring writers, and a window to show their work to the world. ‘Self-publishing’ is relatively new, but a popular term in the market. It has helped in creating successful writers. It is an independent publishing of a book or any other material of an author without the involvement of the third party.
Technological advances have enabled growth to independent publishing. Online retailing and electronic publishing has provided global market and readership. It is flourishing and aiding new writers with ‘Print on Demand (POD)’ technology. With POD, the physical copy of the book is published after the order has been placed by the reader decreasing the risk, distinctively.
The author is responsible, and in control of the entire process from editing to designing. Writer has to choose a size for the book, format the Word manuscript to fit that size, turn the Word doc into a PDF, create unique cover art in Photoshop, and upload it all to the self-publisher( website )and get a book proof back within a couple of weeks. Famous self-publishers are Amazon Kindle; create space, lulu.com, smash words etc giving up to 80% of royalty on retail price.
In the follow up post, we will talk exclusively with Darcie Chan, a successful self-publisher about her journey of writing a New York Time’s Best Seller ” The Mill River Recluse”