Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Kennedy from Somerset, KY. Kennedy Wonders, “How do you publish a book? ” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Kennedy!
Do you ever feel overwhelmed when you walk into the library? If you stand in the middle of the largest room, you can look all around you and see hundreds, maybe even thousands, of books. Could you ever read them all?
Isn't it amazing to think of all the stories those books contain? And there are more books being published every single day. Will the world ever run out of stories? Nope!
With over seven billion people on Earth, new stories are being created every moment of every day…and that's just stories based upon real life. When you count the stories that can come out of the imaginations of billions of people, there's no end in sight to the stories that will be told.
Do you have a story you would like to share with the world someday? If so, you may have thought about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!) and writing a book. Once your story is complete, you'll probably want to share it with the world. But how do you go about publishing a book?
Today, there are more for publishing a book than ever before. The first decision most people have to make is whether to pursue traditional publishing or self-publishing.
Traditional publishing involves a publisher who handles all the aspects of publishing, including editing, printing, distributing, and marketing your book, through regular retail outlets, such as book stores. Self-publishing, on the other hand, shifts most, if not all, of those tasks to the author.
If you want to see your book in book stores across the world and not have to do much of the work (besides writing it, of course!), then traditional publishing would be the route to pursue. If you're going the traditional publishing route, most authors will need to find an agent to represent them throughout the process.
Agents will help you prepare your manuscript (fiction) or book proposal (non-fiction), as well as a query letter, to send to publishers who might be interested. An agent's expertise can be invaluable in targeting the right publishers for the type of book you wrote.
If they like your book, traditional book publishers will offer you a contract, basically buying the right to print, market, and sell your book via book stores, websites, and other retail outlets. In addition to an upfront payment, authors can expect to receive payments (called royalties) based upon sales of their books.
If traditional publishers reject your book or you would rather assume some or all of the duties of publishing, then you can pursue self-publishing. The purest form of self-publishing requires authors to invest their own time and money to print, market, and distribute their books.
This can be very expensive in terms of both time and money. Plus, not all authors have the skills necessary to succeed at these many different types of tasks. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, there are many ways you can get help with one or more aspects of self-publishing.
For example, print-on-demand (POD) publishers will accept any work for a fee. Books are then usually marketed via websites and social media. As orders are placed, POD publishers print and mail the requested books, paying royalties to authors for each sale.
If you simply want to see your work in print or if you realize your book has a very limited audience (such as might be the case with a family history, for example), you should consider a vanity publisher. Also known as book manufacturers, vanity publishers will print and bind books for specified fees.
New self-publishing platforms arise from time to time as technology progresses. Website Amazon.com, for example, offers quick and easy self-publishing tools that help budding authors turn their works into e-books that can be for sale online in a matter of minutes.
Thanks to the Internet, you can also publish your material via blogs and social media. If you amass a following, you can offer your work for free to your followers. It might not make you any money, but you could build a fan base that would pay for subsequent works.