Published: January 12, 2023
Publishing is the step of taking your writing—whether it’s a novel, memoir, short stories, non-fiction—and turning it into a salable product: your book. As you consider whether to publish independently or seek a traditional publishing contract, ask yourself: What is my goal? How much time do I have? What am I good at?
The answer to those questions will help you determine which path is right for you. You want to choose an option that will help you achieve your goals faster and better.
In this short video, we’ll go over some of the key differences between the two publishing avenues and finally talk about the most critical element:
Do you want to spend time selling your manuscript to a publisher, or do you want to sell your book to your readers?
Do you want to learn the exact framework traditional publisher use to publish their best-seller?
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The process of publishing is the same, whether you are a traditional publisher or publishing independently. You have a manuscript that becomes a book and is made available to the reader to buy and read.
The difference between the two models has to do with what you are selling and who is buying.
If you’re trying to publish traditionally your product is the manuscript and your “client” is the publisher. Your goal is to find a publisher who will buy your manuscript (not your book) and turn it into his product (the book) that will be sold to the readers.
Why is your product the manuscript and not the book? Because the publisher, who pays you to buy the rights to your work, will transform and package your writing into what he or she thinks is the most salable item. You will have to accept what they produce, even if you don’t like the edits, the cover, or the marketing plan.
If you’re self-publishing as an indie author, your product is the finished book (not your manuscript) and your client is the reader who will buy your book.
So if you choose to self-publish, you will be creating something in addition to your writing – the book. The book needs to be edited, designed, and published, and you will be responsible for all of those steps since you are acting as the publisher.
When you are trying to decide which avenue to pursue, keep in mind how you want to spend your time.
- If you are seeking a traditional publishing arrangement, you will spend your time seeking an agent or publisher. You’ll be crafting query letters, tailored for each situation, and then waiting for a response. If you find one, your book production, and timeline, will be out of your control.
- If you decide to publish independently, you will spend time and money creating your book but your publishing timeline will be greatly condensed, so you can spend your time finding and connecting with readers.
I can’t say which is the right path for you, but if you decide that the independent route is the best solution for you and your book, you should know that the days of vanity press and amateurish books are behind us. Your book can—and should—stand up to a book produced by the Big Five traditional publishers.
At Luminare Press, we are in the business of transforming your writing into a book, and we do that by following the framework that traditional publishers use: Polishing and editing the writing, designing a flawless cover and interior, and publishing your book so readers can find it and buy it.
If you want to learn more about the publishing framework, sign-up for our seminar or check out our publishing options.