Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Publishing 101: Traditional, VS e-Publishing, VS Self

When I signed my first ever contract, my family wanted to know why did I go with an e-publisher. Before I went into the publishing industry, I did my research on all my options and I quickly realized electronic books was my thing. Here's a little comparison between all:

* You might have to wait up to a year between submission and response.
* You need to have an agent for most traditional publishers to look at your book.
* After the yes and the contract, you'll likely wait a year or more to have your book hit the shelves.
* Royalties are about 8 - 10%
* If your first book tanked with sales, chances are no other publisher will ever work with you again.
* It's hard to get that big break.
* Your book needs to be between 70,000 and 120,000+ words.
* Professional editing, cover art, and marketing.

(Harlequin is the exception to some of those rules)

* The response time after sending the submission is anywhere between a few weeks and a few months. Most publishers don't make you wait more than six months. Only a few have been known to make you wait a year.
* No need for an agent.
* Faster turn around time between contract and release. That can range anywhere between a few months and one year.
* Higher cut of the royalties. You get between 35% and 50% depending on publisher.
* Most publishers don't offer an advance and even if they do it's much smaller than a traditional one.
* If your first book tanked, that's okay. Another might do better. I have books out that were bestsellers, and some that have only sold a few copies. My career is not ruined by the un-selling books.
* Your book can be shorter than 70K. I've published stuff as short as 4K.
* Editing, cover art, and marketing might be a hit or a miss depending on publisher and the staff there.

*Full control over everything!

It's easy to see why I picked e-publishing. I can barely manage to write anything over 15,000 words, much less 70k. I don't like to wait years to get a response on a submission or to have my book come out. I usually go crazy if I have to wait two weeks on my sub answer!

What about you: Which option did you go with? Or if you're new to publishing, which option are you most likely to go with?


  1. What a timely response, Angelina. I was about to put on my blog the reason I'm going INDIE. Do you mind if I link to this post. I also have a few other reasons I have explained on my blog.

    But at this stage I say, 'Why can't I do all three?' So that's my angle. :)

  2. I mean a timely post. lol lol.. too much going on in my mind. :)

  3. Traditional publishing lost its appeal when I realized how little you make if you have to rely on advances--and then to share 20% off the top with an agent.

    I like dipping my foot in both small press and self-publishing.