On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Types of Publishing for DTBs (Dead Tree Books)

It has never been easier to publish your book. Publishing is changing before our eyes with the advent of the e-reader and e-books, but regular books are still abundant. There are three basic types of publishing extant:

1. Subsidy

2. Self

3. Traditional

I will go over all three of these types of publishing in detail over the next few weeks and discuss how they work. Today is an overview. There are pros and cons to each method.

SUBSIDY PUBLISHING is often called Self-Publishing, but unless you own the company it ain't. Another name for Subsidy is publish-on-demand. I am extremely negative about subsidy publishing in which you pay a company to publish your book. In my experience, you can more cheaply and with better quality publish yourself. I know of only one subsidy company -- Yav Publications at http://authors.interestingwriting.com/ -- that is not a total rip-off and gives authors a chance to make money while marketing their work. PLEASE, if you are thinking of subsidy publishing, WRITE TO ME BEFORE YOU SPEND ANY MONEY! I will give you a nickel's worth of free advice, hard-won in my own publishing adventures. I am not selling anything, but detest what in my opinion are terrible scams that cost writers their dreams.

In a very few circumstances in which you don't want to market your book, Subsidy Publishing might be a good choice. For example, if you have a cookbook or series of essays that you want to make available to a limited group (church, family, club), and you don't want to go through figuring out how to publish yourself, the subsidy company will produce a nice-looking book. The books will be priced high and you will receive little or no money from sales, so this option is only if you are not trying to *sell* your book to the general public.

SELF PUBLISHING is when you form the company, buy the ISBNs, produce the cover and interior PDFs, hire the printer, and sell the book from your own author platform. It's not as complicated as it might sound, although there are many details you need to keep straight. This can be an excellent choice.

TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING are the companies you're familiar with: Random House, Harper Collins, Tyndale, and so forth. The work you've been doing for the previous few blog entries (query letter, synopsis) are for applying to these companies.

Traditional Publishing is an excellent venue if you can do it. These companies pay you an author advance for your book, and royalties once you've started selling. They also have strong marketing machines behind them to help your book hit the bestseller list.

The best way to approach traditional publishing companies is through an agent. I'll be talking about this in more depth soon.

A fourth type of publishing is E-Publishing, in which your book is available as an e-book instead of or in addition to a DTB (dead tree book). Hmm, I probably should put in a few entries of how to do this also.

So many publishing choices. However, the first thing I always say to anyone telling me he's looking into publishing (finding an agent, forming a company, looking at publish on demand companies) is that you must first make sure your manuscript is ready to go. Yikes, another big topic. Why don't I start with that one on Friday.

Happy Writing.

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