In my journey into writing I have discovered several ways to publish. People talk about Traditional Publishing versus Self Publishing, but I don’t see these as in competition with each other but offering alternative services. To many the Traditional route is a distant dream, worth striving for at all costs, but to others there are alternative ways, with unpredictable levels of success whichever way you choose:
THE TWO EXTREMES
1. Find an established Publishing company who is willing to invest time and money on your writing (An extremely difficult thing to do these day)
2. Self publish just as an e book with as low cost as possible asking family and friends to help you proof read (that’s fine if you are only really aiming to share with family and friends)
THE ONES IN BETWEEN
3. Publish through a company who may ask you for a contribution towards the costs. Each of these companies are offer different types of services. Some are up front and list the services you are paying for. Some just ask for a flat rate contribution. I would suggest, to avoid future confusion and possible disappointment whichever of these companies you choose, that you make sure you understand what you are paying for. These used to be called ‘Vanity Press.’ I dislike the term, but now I know more about the world of publishing I have a greater awareness of the role they play as publishers. Remember that some established publishing companies ask for author contributions for new, untested authors and the majority also expect début novelists to work hard to market their own work.
Acorn Independent Press for example gives you different levels of services to choose from depending on your needs
Amazon, through their Create Space will publish as an e book and paperback, without the same large
YOUR OWN PUBLISHING COMPANY
Make up your mind to set up your own company, buy in the services of experts to proof read, typeset, coverdesign and market your own novels and maybe those of others.
Here is the beginning of a three part story of how I did exactly that:
I’m not sure whether it is reading ‘The Time of my Life’ by Ceceila Ahern, an author I have always admired which has led me to writing this post (hence the title Honesty is the best policy!) or whether the fact that my page on ‘The Independent Author Network‘ has just been launched, or it could be having a clear out of all my correspondence with publishers in the last five years, the rejections, the vanity publishing contracts and proposals speaking gushingly about my writing and those tantalising notes, ‘you write well and we enjoyed the story but its not for us at the moment.’ (I admit to keeping a couple of them!) The experts say take heart from any positive feedback and move on, which is what I did.
First of all I want to say thank you for Pegasus Elliot Mc Kenzie for giving me a start on this road towards ‘authordom’ and I will not go into my reasons for turning down their offer on another ‘partnership’ type of contract where they offered to publish my second novel ‘Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home,’ but I do want to give the rationale behind Eventispress.
About two years ago I went to listen to a man who had not just self published but, instead of the ways I’d heard of, he had decided to set up his own publishing company. He talked of buying in professionals to help to produce and market his books and the whole idea excited me. As my bank manager said a year later, ‘It is as if you have been working towards this moment for ten years.’ At this talk I bought his book.(not the bank manager’s the speaker’s)
‘The Joy of Self Publishing’ by Mike Buchannan. (Mike writes about some pretty controversial subjects but I found the steps in this book very useful, reading it through twice from cover to cover.)
There are also a multitude of websites out there with advice. Personally, I think one of the best is
Joel Friedlander’s ‘The Book Designer’
Also publications for example ‘The Writer’s Forum.’
With a great deal of soul searching and deliberation I decided that this was the route for me. Why?
I was inspired by the thought of producing a professional product and establishing a network for future writing projects. I already knew who I wanted to design the cover and had clear ideas including for example font size and a desired format.
What did I do next? Part 2 in this story will tell you about the research I carried out and decisions I took along the way. It was many more months after that when finally Eventispress was born.
Believe me, starting your own Publishing Company is not an easy option, as the Guardian reporter suggested, and so in the next post you will hear about the hurdles I’ve leapt over, and some crawled under on my belly along the way.