What Are Your Book Publishing Options? How to Zero in on the Right Publisher?

Your manuscript is almost ready, and you are looking for the best book publishing company to publish your book.

Once you start the task of finding a book publishing company, you will realize the job can be complex for a first-time author.

  • What are the book publishing options open before you?
  • Which publishing option will suit you?
  • Which book publishing company has the best offerings?
  • What is the cheapest way to publish a book?
  • How to publish a book yourself?

The above questions will puzzle a first-time author, as much as a maze does.

We will prise open the world of publishing for you bit by bit. We will take you through one maze in this post and reveal the book publishing options available to you.

publishing companies

Five options are open to you for publishing a print, eBook and/or audiobook:

  1. You pursue only one choice of finding a reputed traditional publisher who will agree to publish your book.
  2. Give yourself a reasonable time frame to find a suitable traditional publisher, say one year. If the right publisher has not extended a publishing offer in that time, then take a call to follow points no 3, 4 or 5.
  3. Self-publish your book/ to publish a book yourself
  4. Find a good self-publishing company to help you publish your book
  5. Junk the idea of publishing a book, altogether.

If point no 1 is your choice, you need lots of patience and perseverance and a thick skin for rejections. A good literary agent could be helpful and one must have written a book that will appeal to a publisher. If you are lucky, you will be able to find a suitable publisher in less than one year. If not, you can keep trying till you find one or give up.

 If point no 2 is your choice, you have spent a reasonable amount of time and effort finding a publisher for your novel. If no publishing deal has been signed with a suitable publisher after one year etc, consider taking the next best option as mentioned in points 3,4,5. In most cases, this is the most satisfying option.

 If point 3 is your choice: Time will be the most significant element required of you. You will need time to learn the various processes that go into book production and the professional way to carry out those processes. The risk is that you may still not match the experience and skill of a professional publisher and despite the immense effort, the book may turn out shoddy and unprofessional.

 If point 4 is your choice: Be prepared to spend money. If you choose the right self-publishing company, you will be all set to get your book published in time and professionally too. Remember professional editing is desired for all published books. As in all types of publishing discussed, be ready to market your book.

 If point no. 5 is your choice: our advice would be ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’

Once you have familiarised yourself with the different publishing options, it is best to learn about the pros and cons of different types of publishing.

You have myriad publishing choices available. So cheers to options!

How to research for a good self-publishing company?

Self-publishing is getting a lot of exposure in the National dailies, leading to increased awareness and curiosity about the availability of alternative modes of publishing. It has caught the fancy of numerous authors who want to know how do I select the best expert publishing/self/vanity publishing/POD company?

No one answer fits all writers. However, there are broad pointers one can look at while deciding which online book publishing company can work for you.

  1. List out your most important goals. The goals you are hoping to achieve by publishing this novel. Maybe you want recognition as an author, improve standing in your professional community or open doors to various public platforms like an invitation to panel discussion, featuring in the local or national media etc.
  2. Determine the approx. amount of money you are willing to invest in expert publishing.
  3. The services you most need for publishing your book.
  4. Once you have the answers to the questions above, speak to people who have published and get their inputs on the process and the online book publishers.
  5. Check the feedback different self-publishing companies have got. You can check this on the world wide web. This helps to measure the level of services actually being extended to writers.
  6. Narrow down your search to 2-3 online book publishing companies that have received good feedback and meets your goal.
  7. Then order one book which they have recently published, to check for finish and product quality.
  8. Ask for hidden costs.

By this stage, you are all set to start correspondence with one or two book publishers near me, that you have narrowed down your search to.

self publishing company

At this advanced stage, what pitfalls should you watch out for?

  • Don’t be rushed into anything. If the company calls, emails and texts you every day and uses pressure tactics to make you sign on the dotted line, they are most likely just after a quick buck and you should consider walking away.
  • Does the company want you to buy large quantities of your own book? This is a red flag – in the age of print on demand, there is no reason for you to have lots of books lying around.
  • Is the company also handling inventory as part of book distribution activities?
  • Does the company have employees who respond to your queries promptly and with sensitivity? Book issues are often technical, and you need to work with real people to resolve them. Ask questions and see how they answer.
  • Watch out for contracts that are vague or only protect the company should something go wrong. A good contract will protect the author’s rights.

When you are with the right self-publishing company, you will know it; trust your gut. With the right company, that feeling of comfort and confidence allows you to do your book justice. 

Want help with editing, publishing a book? Contact Zorba Books