Publishing: A Tale of Two Options

Book image taken from St. Michael’s College where they learn too.

I have often fantasized about publishing one of the numerous story ideas that float around in my mind. But in these fantasies, I have never given much thought about the publishing process – my daydream beginning after the publishing aspect, where I sign autographs for adorning fans, get a movie deal, and sit on my couch stuffed with hundred dollar bills. However, as I am starting to writing my novel for school, I have begun thinking more and more about how I will publish it in the future.

There are a few avenues to stardom that I can take:

1. Find a publisher and get them to publish my novel

2. Self-publish an e-book or hard copy

The first option has multiple perks and one great downfall. The perks are that I will have an editor (which is duly needed), and a whack of other people dedicated to selling my novel. But on the negative side, I only get 10% of the royalties from my book. That means if my book is $20, I get 2 bucks a pop. Ouch.

So let’s say I sell 100 copies of my book. That’s only $200 for all my sweat, tears, and a year (or years) of living like an aquariam dolphin. That $200 would give me enough cash to buy groceries once. So if I go the publishing route, I may just have to sacrifice a goat to ensure that I make it big, or get another job on the side. (And no I wouldn’t sacrifice an actual goat. I’m a hard and true veggie-head.)

The second option is that I publish my book through e-publishing. Going the e-publishing root unfortunately means that I won’t have an editor or publisher (unless a publisher like Harlequin picks me up for their new e-book line), and I won’t have a hard copy of my book that bookstores can shelve away. Getting the word out about my book becomes substantially harder as well.

Self-publishing is a difficult route to go, but the venues for self-publishing are growing rapidly. It also means that my profit will substantially increase as companies like Lulu give the writer 50% or more of the royalties for every book sold (depending on how you print your novel – e-book or hard/soft cover style). Or I can just upload it to iBooks and set a price and BAM! Instant book. Yet, these paths are also fraught with the fact that telling the world about my amazing novel will rest on my sole shoulders.

If I want to get the best of both worlds, I could go the e-book route and print off a few hard copies for family and friends (and possibly try to get McNally to pick up a few). I might even think of hiring a freelance editor, which could increase the quality of my work.

For my IPP, I still want to go the publishing root first. Why? Because I would like someone to go over and edit my work and have people guide me through the whole publishing process. But if I get rejected across the board, I am thinking about taking the self-publishing route (or perhaps I`ll take the more undignified option where I sob into my grandmothers tea-towels as I pack all my hopes and dreams into a box in my basement).


In the end, I think both routes are viable ways to get a book published. But in the future, I see e-book publishing being the easy money banker, as technology keeps changing and people and books with it.
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About Kay

Managing life one step at a time.
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