Posts Tagged ‘Publishing Choices. Publishers’

Writing Wednesday/ Publishing Choices


Writing Wednesday

Typewriter envy










On Wednesdays I like to share information I picked up on my path to being published, marketing and preparing to be published again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.



Publishing Choices

The publishing business has changed so dramatically over the past few years and there doesn’t seem to be any slow- down to the changing , in sight.  It is still so unclear who the winner will be in this evolutionary process and that can cause more than a bit of anxiety for new as well as established authors. The good news is if you want to be published, you have choices…

confused woman

This is a brief overview of the different Publishing Choices available and the pros and cons for each:

Traditional Publishing

Traditional Publishing is still number one through six in sales, in publications and in best -selling titles, in the world. Those top six companies are:

1.Hatchette Book Group

2. Harper Collins

3. McMillan

4. Penguin Group

5. Random House

6. Simon and Shuster (name owned by CBS)

Each of these companies also own dozens of smaller companies known as imprints. An imprint may be used when publishing in a narrow field such as sci-fi or fantasy. How it works:

1. Traditional publishers in most cases will only work with literary agents.

2. If you want to be traditionally published you will first need an agent. You must submit your query and then if requested submit your finished, professionally edited manuscript to an agent that specializes in your genre.

3. If they decide to sign you they will have you go through another round of edits

4. They will try to sell your MS to a publisher

5.They will negotiate a contract on your behalf

6. They will receive a percentage of your sales.

7. Once they have sold your MS to a publisher you will go through yet another round of editing

8. A cover will be designed and a title will be decided on and Conceptual editing will be done (styling)


The Advantages of Traditional Publishing:

1. They put up the front money for editing, copyrighting, distribution, listing with vendors,  ISBN number, some marketing and advertising. They may even provide an advance.

2.  Chances are much better for international sales

3.  The big Publishers have connections w/ T.V., radio, Magazines etc…

4. Your book will be released in Hardcover and then 8 months to a year later it will be re- released in paperback.

5. Prestige and credibility


Disadvantages of Traditional Publishing:

1. Lack of control over everything involving your book including style, title, where it is sold, how it is marketed etc…

2. You do not get paid until your advance is paid back (if you received one), royalties tend to be paid at lower percentages than other publishing choices.

3. The process tends to be impersonal.

4. If the Publisher does not make their initial investment back in two-years they may drop you.

5. The time frame from signing to publication can take up to two-years.

Independent Publishing

Little girl looking at book through magnifier

Independent Publishers tend to be smaller companies and can be imprints of a larger company. Most of them operate ‘under one roof’ meaning they have editing, marketing etc…in house.

There are hundreds of Independent Publishing companies with new ones starting up every day. Just a few examples in no particular order are:


  • Publishing Genius Press
  • Akashic Books
  • Coffee House Press
  • Black Balloon
  • A Strange Object (new)
  • Tin House
  • Gray Wolf Press

Advantages of publishing with an Independent Publisher:

1. They may or may not require you to be represented by an agent

2.  Offer better royalties

3.  More individual author attention

4.  Prestige and credibility

5. Time from signing to publication can be as quick as one year

6.  More willing to work with new authors


 1. Less opportunity for international sales. Not impossible but unlikely

2.  You will need to do most of the marketing

3. Your book may be released as an e-book prior to paperback release. It may not be released in hardcover.


Subsidy, Vanity, Print on Demand and Assisted Self- Publishing Companies

This is where the publishing water gets very murky. These companies charge fees for services. Some of them are very good companies that do exactly what they say they will do and some of them are very bad companies. Some of them are extremely choosy over what they accept for publication and others will print anything. If you choose this route for publishing you must research the company. Have any contract looked at by a literary attorney, request author references and order a few books that the company published to check the quality.

Question Mark

These companies may offer different publishing packages ranging in price from $10,000 for complete preparation to release services, $5,000 for less services and $600 or less for assistance with self-publishing such as ISBN number (your books social security number) copyrighting and formatting for Amazon and Barnes & Noble listings.

Advantages to this types of Publishing

1. More control artistically

2. The highest royalties paid

3. A good option for special interest, regional, self-help, speakers, cookbooks and celebrities

4.  Quick turnaround time, a year sometimes less.


Some of these disadvantages are disappearing rapidly. The stigma surrounding self -publishing is eroding. To break through these barriers, write a good book and make sure it is professionally edited.

1. Some libraries and book stores, still will not stock these books.

2. Perceived Lack of credibility.

3. Some professional reviewers still will not review these books.

4. Some authors self-publish poorly edited or not edited at all books and it hurts all self-published authors.

Again, this is changing rapidly!

Companies to avoid at all cost (This list is not complete. Always research, check references and have a literary attorney read any contract.)

* Author House

* Vantage Press

* Trinity

* Publish America now known as America Star

* Trident

* i universe (also known as Writers Club and Writers Showcase)

* Xlibris

Whatever route you choose for publishing, if you write a great story and have it edited professionally, the readers will come! Just like anything worth having in life, you will need to make an investment to get a return.

****The number 7 Publishing Company is Amazon.

**** The largest book buyers in the world are libraries.

Are you a published author? What Publishing choice did you make and why? Do you have any pro’s or cons to add?

Are you a writer hoping to be published? Which publishing choice do you thing would be right for you?

Sit down and write Stephen King


Thank you for reading,



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