All Publishers Are Not Created Equal

One of the biggest questions that I get asked, is what’s the best way to publish a book.

The last thing you want to do is to think that all publishers are created equal.

In fact, there are as many differences in publishers as there are publishers. That sounds over the top but the truth is that publishers all have their own unique way of accomplishing the same goal.

So, how do you start narrowing the field down to make this decision easier?

The best place to start is figuring out which way you want to publish your book.

There are 3 major types of publishing you should look at. They are Traditional Publishing, Self Publishing and Entrepreneurial Publishing.

Traditional Publishing – As it sounds, this the form of publishing that most people think of. Traditional publishing is the model that has been around the longest and for the most part has not changed much in over 100 years.

Advantages – Incredible distribution, better store shelf placement for a select group of books, authors are generally paid an advance.

Disadvantages – Higher return rates, more work for less money and the big one, authors generally lose the rights and creative control of their material.

Self-Publishing – These are companies that are usually either printers or print facilitators, who will take you book as you have it designed and simply print them for you. Some may offer design help and some sort of distribution.

Advantages – Author has creative control in the development of their book. The author also maintains the rights to the material and keeps the bulk of the money from sales once all the publishing and print fees are paid.

Disadvantages – The book will have limited distribution, if any. The author usually ends up with a garage full of books and the cost and responsibility of marketing and PR rest solely on the author. There is usually a fee required to publish along with print cost.

Entrepreneurial Publishing – This is probably the newest concept in publishing. It could be described as a blend of traditional and Self-publishing. It usually offers full distribution and bookstore sales support while allowing the author to play a part in the creative portion of the production of the book. The best part of this model is that along with the distribution and sales support the author maintains the rights to the material.

Advantages – Author gets full distribution and sales support. The author also plays a part in every step of the process and maintains the rights to the material.

Disadvantages – There is usually no advance paid. May not be able to guarantee bookstore shelf placement.

The bottom line is that you as the author have to be comfortable working in one of these models. Don’t choose your publisher only by their ability to get books to the public, but also judge them according to who is going to allow your book to benefit your business the most.