This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
In the age of self-publishing, when people (including me in the past) have queried whether you need a publisher, I have to admit that after the launch of my paperback book last week, my eyes have been opened to what a publisher does.
Initially I struggled with my publishing deal. It was an alien concept for me to hand over control of my book to a team of people. It’s quite strange, as with self-publishing you know exactly what is going on with your book, with a publisher you often don’t know what’s going on from one week to the next. It’s hard to adjust and understand that your book baby is one of many undergoing nurturing at a publishers, and you’ve got to try not to be the pushy parent and let it go.
I’ve gone through the whole process now, editing from editors notes, proofing copy edits, pre-publication build up and finally, seeing the book hit the shelves, and I’ve become more relaxed. I’ve started to see what the editorial team, e-book team and marketing department does and how hard they work. I’ve started to learn that just because I don’t hear what’s going on, doesn’t mean to say nothing’s happening in the background!So what difference does having a publisher make? Well, for starters they get you into places that you never dreamt you’d get into. I never created paperbacks for my self-published books, but even if I had, I’m sure I would have struggled to get it into more bookshops than I could count on one hand. I’m always in awe of self-published authors who do this successfully, but for me it would be trying to attempt to climb Mount Everest. Not only has my paperback made it into bookshops and supermarkets, but it’s also in a few libraries too. Reviews for my book have also made it into national print magazines – again I never thought I’d see my book in a weekly gossip mag.
We’ve all heard that in order to get an agent or a publishing deal, you need to create an author platform. Savvy tweeters and bloggers that have built a following, which can be turned into a customer base, are more likely to turn heads in the publishing industry than a recluse who runs in the opposite direction of social networking. I’m sure that this column and my social networking were key components in my publishing deal. We’ve also heard that authors these days are asked to do more in terms of marketing and promotion than they ever were. Yet, even though we as authors might have to wear a marketing hat more often, it doesn’t mean publishers wash their hands of it all together. Having gone through it alone when self-publishing, it definitely makes it easier having someone else managing it.
With the birth of Baby Bell, I have to admit that I’ve had little time to spend on the book side of things. I’ve been doing very limited amounts of tweeting and blogging. If I was launching a self-published book this would be an absolute disaster, as you have an immense amount of work to do when you publish your own book. Yet, there was something nice about having a PR contact doing the publicity and the coordination with bloggers and journalists, with me just being asked to contribute with content. Someone with a huge number of followers to tweet and retweet on my behalf.
What do you think the greatest advantage of having a publisher behind you?