What are the benefits of hiring a publisher over self-publishing?
It seems like more authors are self-publishing and marketing their own work. I need help determining if the cost benefit is worth it. I don't have much more time to allocate towards promotion myself. Is my best bet to hire a publisher?
As we know the publishing industry is being severely disrupted, in similar ways to other industries such as the music industry, and the newspaper industry. As you note, the growth in self-publishing over the past 3-5 years has been phenomenal.
Having said all of that, where the publishing industry (currently) scores is in *distribution*. Yes, it's very possible for a self-publisher to get the word out (if you pardon the pun!). But building what Seth Godin would call a "tribe" as the basis for your marketing channel takes significant time and effort.
Guy Kawasaki book "APE" goes into the various pros and cons of self publishing ( http://www.amazon.com/APE-Author-Publisher-Entrepreneur-How-Publish/dp/0988523108 ). You may find that a useful starting point.
Ultimately, however, only you can decide whether the revenue share model with a "traditional" publisher makes sense, compared with self-publishing.
Unless you are already a higly marketable author, consider showing your potential "publishers" how capable you are before partnering with them. Many publishing houses are quite expensive and don't give you the attention and guidance needed to promote and distribute your works. Better that you get educated on what it takes to have success (profit!) in selling your works so you can discuss options with potential publishers on the same level.
N.B.: there are substantial differences between publishing houses like HarperCollins and the masses of "vanity press" services. They all have their place but without good research and an understanding of your goals and resources, any one of them can be a bad choice.
Self-publishing doesn't have the stigma it had when we called it "vanity press." There is still a meaningful difference between "I published it myself" and "someone else valued my work enough to publish it."
However, you are talking about marketing: Publishers don't market. they don't. If you are a major name, they may spend some money on you. Otherwise, you are on your own.
Additionally: You said "hire" a publisher. That's a bad idea. The biggest value you get from a third party publisher is their endorsement. Hiring them means that you are in charge, not them. That's sort of pointless.
A publisher will have connections that you don't have. If any publisher doesn't have those connections, don't hire him/her, because you can do just about everything else yourself nowadays.
If you are looking for high credibility, then go the publisher route—although that's a tough way to go. It takes a lot 'door knocking' and expect a lot of rejection. If you're primarily looking to use it as a business card, then self-publishing is just fine—and it's much faster. Just remember, if you go the publisher route, you won't get much, if any, help on the marketing side unless you already have a brand name. And, you won't be doing it for the money, 'cause it's highly unlikely you'll make much.
Hi Caitlin, If you have a firm believe in your contents , then first show your work with some friends and other known persons. If they give you good feedback regarding the same , then go with a publisher. If you want to sell your book first time, then try as a self publishers and once people will know about you from your first and second book then seek the services of a publisher. Currently I have penned down two books and released them at google play store and amazon kindle as a self publishers and there is a good response I am getting from there. Good Luck
Suggest you research ghost writers.
They can steer you through the process AND
increase the likelihood of a quality product.
Not my "wheelhouse" but I know someone who is.
Likely busy but maybe you can get some practical advice.
Contact me personally if you would like that referral.
The Short and simple answer is YES, especially if you don't have the time to "self promote" a fundamental exercise and requirement of "self-publishing". Truth is the publishing industry is heavily saturated and continually being disrupted.
The advantages of going with a publisher will depend on what your publishing and what territories you're selling into as opposed to self-publishing where you may be limited to a localisation approach especially if you don't have the time to "self-promote".
My best advice, is to talk with people from both sides of the isle to gain insights into what works and what fits your personal/business circumstances. In any case, get publishing.
Good luck and hope this helps.
Feel free to connect if i can be of further help.
Money - Recognition and network. Don't underestimate the fact that online self publication is doing it fantastic. If you write great, if you can touch people heart or interest you'll be successful in any of those.
You'll have to promote yourself and your book whether you self-publish or publish through a traditional publisher, especially if you're not already an established writer. If you don't have the time or the inclination to do this, then I'm afraid you'll be disappointed in your sales.
Many good answers already, let me add the following:
1) As Charles already mentioned, you don't really "hire" a publisher. It's akin to a draft pick in professional sports. Sure, you are paying the publisher, but they have to pick you first. This is the hard part (and time consuming) aspect of finding and partnering with a traditional publisher.
2) Also, as others have advised, be aware of the three publishing routes you may select from: self-publishing, traditional publishing, and "vanity" publishing. There is no need or benefit to the later--avoid it like the plague.
3) To the crux of your question: the pros of self-publishing are larger profit per book sold; greater artistic control (cover design, cover blurb, interior design, and title); ability to set the sales price. Cons of self-publishing are you have to do all of the above or hire contractors to help you; you will largely work alone; your access to book distributors will be minimal if at all.
4) Pros of using a traditional publisher are working as part of a creative and talented team of graphic designers, content editors, and copy editors; access to book distributors; access to some marketing (there may be exceptions, but most traditional publishers will provide some marketing assistance and advice, even if only through ARC reviewers and contest entries). The cons of a traditional publisher include reduced profit per book sold; loss of pricing control; and you'll need to compromise of some artistic decisions.
5) Regardless of the route you pick, you will carry the bulk of the marketing effort. Unless you are a big-name celebrity, that's just reality.
You can’t ‘hire’ a publisher per se. That is, unless it is a ‘vanity’ publisher, which I would not recommend. A publisher must select your book, usually through a literally agent, who you hire. I would opt for setting up your own publishing company, as that is what I did years ago and it has worked quite well. You form an LLC under your state’s laws, typically done online in under five minutes and for anywhere between $100-$250 paid to your state. Obtain a Federal ID and State ID for taxes and register the company for sales tax, assuming your state has a sales and use tax.
ISBN - Next contact Bowker https://www.myidentifiers.com/get-your-isbn-now for your ISBN’s , one for $195 or 10 for $295. You can also check out their other self publishing services at https://www.myidentifiers.com.
Book Printing - I have over the years use book printers, etc., but I would recommend Amazon’s Create Space https://www.createspace.com as your printer. They are economical, quality is very good, zero inventory using their print on demand services, you format the book and layout the cover online, proofs are cheap (and NECESSARY) and the turnaround is fast, typically shipping orders in 1-2 days, seven days per week. You can skip Bowker and buy your ISBN’s from Create Space, but I would not recommend that, as if you do the publisher of record will be listed as Create Space. You want the publisher of record to be the publishing company you set up.
The drawbacks of self publishing are that you must promote your own books. The drawbacks to working with an established publisher is that they will not promote your books, other than very minimally, unless or until you become a success as a writer. Then they love you. Until then, you simply don’t count. Remember, only two in ten books by new authors published by a major publishing house make them money. The rest lose money and the publishers cut their losses (and you) quickly.
The other benefits to being your own publisher include buying books from Create Space for your own use at 15% of list price vs. 60-80% from a mainline publisher. Also and very importantly, you own your own book. If you use a traditional publisher, they own your book. If it doesn’t sell well for them, it goes out of print and if you want any more you have to buy the rights to it back from them. Also, as they own it, they can change it. I had a friend who was a speaker who had a branded name for her keynote and wrote a book by the same name. Her publisher didn’t like the name, so after she signed on with them, they unilaterally changed the name of her (their) book. Left her with a book that didn’t match the keynote name she had been selling for years.
Going with Create Space automatically places your book in Amazon North America and for a few dollars also into Europe. Let your customers buy from your website, through a link to Amazon and Amazon will handle all of the payment and fulfillment and your customers can buy all of the other things they want simultaneously, which makes ordering easy and convenient for them and if they are Amazon Prime, shipping is always free to them and you will still make more money than through any other book distribution model.
For my most recent book, http://www.difrances.com/johns-books/ Minding The Giraffes: The People Side of Innovation, I used this model and it has been the best experience by far of any of my books. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me at DI FRANCES & ASSOCIATES INNOVATION CONSULTING and I’d be happy to answer them. I learned the hard way. There's no reason you should have to.
One more hint, write your manuscripts using Scrivener http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php. It’s very inexpensive and incredibly powerful as a book writing tool. Also, when you are finished, it will automatically output your manuscript for a digital book.
Ok you should have a short Brainstorming coaching on "guerrilliah" marketing placement tactics :-) "A Conspiracy theorie" linked to you as an Publishing Autor will form a Myth which attention circles copypastes it self in social media and the Mind of your Readers as a myth and Later on a Legend :-) For example if you have a "text or of a detective story scene" and in the scene someone is checking his emails...you as well mention the account data and password and create in reallife social media the same account "with your favoured mailes and friends" in this account...so that the "testreaders" are offered a reallife social media chapter while testreading. The Movie the Martix used such guerillia tactics to place in the Internet from 1998. As well what many autors lack of is fluent modern tools of social media. I would favour you to get "Camtasia" studio with camtasia you can save a voicechat or even a Screen Transmission of your PC...and save it as a Movie...This would offer the chance that your readers could see your Screen while you type and work on a Chapter of your text or Book and your readers would have a "Authors Peepshow" of typos "Minds Thoughts and how the outcome of your text works out and developes while you type...You could add music or even Comment in Voice on Mic ...while doing so..."As well by that you could have social media...Detective storyline Movies...For example of a Character of your Book "checking is illusion of a Mail Account " ...and you transmit your book characters "desktop mailaccount" as a Screen transmission" and with a friend you could also "cover up social media live chats and place them into the illusion of Story" ...(those would be chances for guerilliah self-publishing :-) but it needs a fluent run through social media workouts of your Books hero on Mails Twitter Facebook or any other social media tool. On the other hand i would cover up a Paypal liveplacement when ever your readers run for social media...from time to time chapter to chapter of your realtime detective story they get 5 chapters on stage for like 50cent (if they pay for the whole book they get 50 stage chapters for 30cent each chapter) and they get a newsletter invite which runs them into the storyline. the wow effect comes up if your the autor which integrates even reallife readers alongside into the story line ;-) you could troll or fake account them ...and day later they become part of the story alongside the line this will open a "Culteffect" to your customers"
I agree that you are looking at marketing issues. Have you thought about a cross between self-publishing and publisher sponsored? There are a variety of small publishers these days that work "part" of the publishing package and still give you more control over your own works.
What you have to balance is the need for a distribution channel vs your ability to make up for that though self promotion. So the first thing for you to do is to evaluate your social media profile relative to the audience you are looking to target. If you believe you have sufficient social media profile to drive marketing, promotion and eventually sales; go for it. If not! Hire a publisher. The value added of the publisher is distribution channel and marketing surround.