As a writer, you are confronted with a dizzying array of publishing and self-publishing options, including: commercial houses; specialty/independent houses; print-on-demand (POD) companies; and e-book companies. Many firms offer a mind-boggling variety of packages for pre-publishing, marketing, and distribution, with prices from $299 to $11,000+. Your royalties will depend on the price of your book minus the preparation, publishing, distribution, and other fees. It really is enough to make your head spin. How do you make sense of it all?
First and foremost take stock of yourself as a writer–and be true to your goals and expectations. You are less likely to be disappointed or waste time and money if you are realistic about your writing and the publishing biz. What kind of writer are you?
Serious nonfiction writer–determined to build your career and establish yourself as an expert in your field through your book. Suggested publishing strategy: Traditional or Be Your Own Publisher.
A serious fiction writer–aiming to build a career as a writer. You are willing to make the effort to create a quality manuscript and take the time to develop a fan base and readership. Suggested publishing strategy: Traditional or Be Your Own Publisher.
A serious dabbler–uncertain about your writing and not sure you have what it takes to be a serious writer. But you want to give it your best shot. Suggested publishing strategy: Traditional or Self-publishing.
A hobbiest, NOT serious about writing—writing is fun as a hobby but you could care less about building a career or a readership. Maybe your friends and family will like your book. Suggested publishing strategy: Self-publishing.
A dejected writer–your manuscript has been rejected. Now, you don’t have a clue as to what to do with it. Should you toss it in the trash or keep working at it? Suggested publishing strategy: To be determined after specific information about your manuscript and the nature of your rejections. Three possibilities: revise and re-submit, submit to small independent publishers, or self publish.
Now that you have identified your “writer” category, you can determine your publishing strategy and the required services you are likely to need.