Three Ways To Publish Your Book: Traditional, Independent, Hybrid
You’re about to write a book to promote your business, or you’ve just written it. You know there are at least 10 ways your book will help you grow your enterprise. Now, the next question arises: Should you publish it traditionally, self-publish or go hybrid?
Let’s find the right solution for you.
1. Pitch Agents To Publish Traditionally
Traditional publishing is considered prestigious, difficult, long — and lucrative for a rare few.
You first need to write a proposal and start pitching agents. Once you find an agent who takes you on board, they will start working to sell your book to a traditional publishing house. The whole process, from the moment you find an agent to the moment your book comes out, can take about 2.5 years. Remember that you still need to write your book and you might have to pitch more than 100 agents before you ever get a reply.
One of my acquaintances in the industry, Lucinda Halpern, has told me she often gets hundreds of pitches a week, and most of the pitches don’t make it past those who work in the office and do the first review. In fact, only a very small percentage of the authors who pitch agents will hear back from them, so your chances are pretty slim. If you do make it, you should be prepared to relinquish some creative control as your book will now be ushered into the hands of a group of professionals.
When you do get representation after you’ve scouted for agents, expect to receive an advance (which could range anywhere from the low four figures to high six or seven figures) and around 10% in royalties. Also, you’ll get one of the best perks: traditional publishing’s immense distribution that gets your book into libraries, bookstores and wherever books are sold.
Anybody can publish a book. For instance, you can get your book on Amazon through Kindle Direct Publishing.
The beautiful thing about self-publishing is that there are no gatekeepers and the market becomes the ultimate judge. If you know how to position, package and launch your book, and if you know how to do great marketing, you can even hit the USA Today best-seller list with your self-published release.
I find that most self-published books fail miserably due to the authors’ lack of publishing and marketing knowledge, but those who do win, win big, taking home all the royalties.
Even then, one drawback remains. You are limited to Amazon and independent book stores and do not have access to a traditional publisher’s immense distribution network, which can get your book into bookstores around every corner.
3. Go Hybrid
Many publishers call themselves a hybrid, so let’s get the definition right: A true hybrid publisher gives you the creative freedom you’d have when you self-publish, as well as a team of professionals who take care of your book production and have a distribution agreement with one of the large traditional publishers, which allows you to get the same placement in bookstores as you would with a traditional publisher. That’s what we do at my publishing company, Leaders Press.
Going hybrid is faster than traditional publishing because you completely omit the agent-pitching phase. The only time constraint is getting your book into the catalog months ahead of launch so that your book can be pitched by reps to retail, along with all the other traditional books coming out that publishing season.
The whole process, from idea to launch (including ghostwriting if that’s for you), takes less than a year. You maintain a high share of royalties and have a professional team working on your release. That said, the one drawback is that hybrid publishing comes with an upfront investment on your end. But with any good investment, the return on a well-executed book can be worth it for your business.
So, there you have it. Start pitching agents, learn more about self-publishing or go hybrid. Whichever you choose, do it now. Don’t keep the world waiting to soak in your wisdom, and don’t keep your business from expanding. Take the next step to get your book out!