4 Types of Publishing Options for Book Authors

February 27, 20214 min. Read

With all the advances in today’s world, we’re more connected than ever before and are lucky to have so many channels to share our stories. For some storytellers, these four types of publishing options for book authors represent endless possibilities

  1. Traditional Publishing

We’ll get this one out of the way first. Traditional publishing is the most “established” of the options listed in terms of prestige and getting a good marketing push. Much of this is changing with the rise of other forms of publishing, but many authors still go for this option because it gets their book out wide without costing them a fortune upfront.

The royalties aren’t quite as high as other options, and authors relinquish control over their book and its marketing, but as a result, they tend to see more sales, and in many cases, they’ll receive an advance before the book is even published. The traditional publishing process isn’t for everyone, and it can be discouraging to receive many rejections over time, which is why so many authors are embracing other options.

  1. Self-Publishing

A self-published author takes over the actual task of publishing the book. The biggest investment that an author makes, in this case, is time, though many choose to spend some money upfront to save on that factor. The benefits of self-publishing are higher royalty rates, full creative control, and guaranteed full rights to your work. The drawbacks, aside from all the time spent doing tasks that a traditional publisher has staff for, are any upfront costs you might incur, such as for hiring an editor and cover designer.

The cost of self-publishing is a loaded one because it isn’t just about putting a dollar amount on select services and comparing it with other options, it’s ensuring that you’ve got a polished and professional product at the end of the process that people will actually buy.

  1. Assisted Self-Publishing

At the risk of confusing readers, a distinction: A self-published author either does all of the work themselves or hires out a freelancer here and there to get the work done where they might lack expertise. Assisted self-publishing, which is sometimes called independent publishing, involves the author hiring out the publishing services from folks like Palmetto Publishing, who are professionals in the field and can package different aspects of the book’s production. These authors still maintain creative control and retain all their rights, but they’ve chosen to exchange some money for time to release a professional, polished product.

  1. Indie or Small Press Publishing

This final option takes a little bit of both worlds and puts it all together. An indie publisher or small press generally caters to a particular genre or market. Like a traditional publisher, they’ll take care of tasks like editing, marketing, and printing for you without asking for money upfront.

You may not see an advance, but they’re going to take the risk for you. As with self-publishing, you still retain creative control and the rights to your work. Royalties may not be as high as strictly self-publishing, but again, they took you on and published your work.

As always, do your research and decide what types of publishing are best for you and your book! You don’t really need to determine how you’re going to get it published right away, so there’s plenty of time to deliberate.

There are going to be risks and benefits to every option you choose, so it’s an individual decision. Also, we’re here to answer your questions whenever you need so feel free to contact us!

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