So, you have completed writing your book and now are all excited to get it published! The first thought that comes to mind when one is thinking about publishing a book is contacting a publisher.
We always try to think of big publishing houses for our lovingly curated novel!
The simplest way to find out about publishers is the Internet. There are several book publishers listed and finding the best one for your book can be quite confusing.
Here are a few tips for shortlisting a book publisher:
While we are tempted to choose the top-listed publisher on Google search, it is better to look at the others also. This is because each publisher offers different packages for book publishing. It is a good idea to compare the features offered by different publishers and choose the package that best meets your needs.
While most publishers promise authors the “stars and moons” in terms of marketing support, you must study the package critically and see whether you really need all the features promised. Some publishers offer the flexibility of adding or deleting features in a package. It is recommended that you study the features of the package in detail and identify the ones you need carefully and get the package customized to your needs.
You also need to be careful enough that you do not get carried away by the “frills” offered by the publishing company and make sure that you choose the services you require and pay only for those.
My personal experience has been that when I got my book published through a publisher, I hardly got the marketing support I had expected and I felt that my money had gone down the drain. Therefore, my advice to authors is that you should not depend on the marketing efforts by publishers and you need to do it yourself proactively. You can consider this like leaving your baby at a creche. The creche owners have too many babies to take care of so your baby is not their priority. Well! Your baby is only your priority, so you need to give it the attention it deserves.
It is would be great if you could talk to any of the authors who have previously got their books published through the same publishing house. Their personal experience will give you a good idea of the quality of services offered.
Based on the above criteria, you can prepare a shortlist of the publishers you could get your manuscript published with. Personal interaction with representatives of these companies will give you an idea of the comfort factor you feel with the company.
With these guidelines, it will become easier for you to select a book publisher. And, you can get your book published!
However, a book publishing company is not the only option for an author to present his/her book to the world. You also have the option of self-publishing.
Several platforms offer free book publishing facilities. I have myself self-published 3 books on KDP or Kindle direct publishing.
Self-publishing on Kindle is quite a simple and straightforward process provided you are comfortable using a computer. Kindle offers several tools to help authors. Besides, there are tutorials to guide new authors on how to use these tools. There are things like free-to-use templates for formatting the book, cover creator for designing the book cover, etc. Besides Kindle offers several book promotion and marketing tools as well!
The best part is that the entire self-publishing process is free, you don’t spend a dime on publishing your book.
Another aspect of self-publishing that I enjoy greatly is the fact that I have control over the release date for my book. Once the manuscript is submitted on Kindle, they send a standard message that they will get back in 72 hours regarding whether the book meets their standards and can be published. I have been fortunate enough that all my books were approved on the same day of submission. And, then I could decide when to release it. Therefore, I was able to release my book, “The Atypical Tale of a Typical Woman!” on 7th March. And, offer free downloads on 8th March, International Women’s Day, to celebrate the day!
Similarly, I published my book “Gift Yourself a Smile!” which was supposed to be a gift for Christmas before 25th December.
Unfortunately with a publishing house, you do not have this kind of control on the release or launch dates, etc.
Self-publishing and getting your book published by a publishing house both to have their pros and cons. It is best to weigh both before carefully choosing one!
Ideally, I would recommend a new author to try self-publishing. However, you could hire a professional graphic designer for cover design or formatting. Engaging a professional digital marketer for marketing is not a bad idea. Based on my experience I can say that this works out to be a more economical option with better results.