5 Things To Remember While Selecting The Publisher For Your Next Book – Inkerspress
What is a book publisher?
A book publisher is a person or a company that takes authors’ written manuscripts and reviews and edits them to prepare for the publishing and distribution process. They also help or advise on cover designs, handle copyrights and bind finished books. From there, the book publisher can work with an author’s agent and use connections with bookstores, general retailers and online retailers to get your book into stores where it can sell to readers. Some publishing houses may also help create marketing strategies to market your book once it’s available for purchase.
Whether you need a publisher for your book is a personal decision that you make based on how you expect to handle promotion and sales. There are a few different options that you can use to get your book published that mainly fall into two categories:
Traditional publishing is a term people in the literary industry use to describe the conventional method of turning a manuscript into a book for purchase. The process begins when an author or literary agent sends a query to a publishing house. If a publishing house selects your query, they may pay you an advance for your work, and the publishing house uses its resources to create and promote your book. Depending on your contract with the publishing house, you may receive royalties for any future sales, or the publishing house purchases intellectual property from you, meaning they own your material.
This mode of publication is appropriate for anyone who prefers the prestige of traditional publishing, wants to forgo any personal cost for publishing and writes in genres that traditional publishers are most likely to take on, which are:
- Picture books
- Juvenile fiction
- Young adult fiction
- Science fiction
Self-publishing is a term people in the literary industry use to describe a variety of channels that don’t fall within traditional publishing. These channels are appropriate for anyone who is writing a book in a specific niche or who would prefer an alternative path to publication. If you are interested in self-publishing, you can create material in one of the following formats:
- Print-on-demand: With this option, you can pay specific companies to have your manuscript printed and bound each time a customer orders a copy. This can be a good option if you don’t want to keep a stock of your book somewhere.
- E-book: Self-publishing an E-book doesn’t require any physical production. It works similarly to the print-on-demand option in that you pay a company to create and send a digital copy of your manuscript to each customer who orders it.
- Vanity publishing: With this option, you can pay to have a stock of your book printed in advance, before you make any sale, and then work to make them available in bookstores yourself. This can be a good way to get the word about your book out, increasing the chance that it may get picked up by a traditional publisher in the future.
To pursue finding a traditional book publisher, you can evaluate the professionals that you contact to see if they might be a good fit to help you get your book published. Here are some elements to look for:
If your book has a very specific niche that may not apply to the standard genres in which traditional publishing houses market, consider doing some research about the material that smaller publishing companies offer. Smaller publishing houses may use a traditional publishing selection process but may receive fewer queries than big-name brands. You can use this research to create a shortlist of publishers who may be interested in your work.
If you have a choice between editors, you can consider which editor seems the most excited about your work or which publishing house has multiple members of their team reaching out to you and expressing their excitement about the project. The more people on the publisher’s team who are connected with your book, the more likely it is that they respect the vision for your book and may want to work with you again.
Terms on your contract
An editor that you want to work with can provide good terms for your contract, such as a sizable advance in pay. Another exceptional term could include maintaining the intellectual property of your book. If you have a literary agent or legal representation, they can help you navigate the more technical side of your contract with an editor or publishing house.