Traditional Publishing May Not Be Right For You
Every book and every author is different. There is no “right” choice when it comes to publishing your book, but there are choices that are better for you than others. In the end you need to choose the publishing path that is right for who you are as an author. Today we will be comparing Lucid Books to traditional publishers. To be clear, we are not saying that traditional publishing is bad and that we are good, or better. We just want show our readers why we could be a better option for them and their book.
- You may get paid an advance for your book. This is often appealing to authors because they, understandably, want to get paid in advance for what they do and have already done. What you may not realize is that with many traditional publishers you will still need to pay for an editor, interior designer, cover designer, etc. So, while you may get paid in advance for your book, you may not get to keep much of that money after paying for these services.
- You have access to the publishing house’s editors and designers. You will usually have to pay for them, as mentioned above, but you have access to them. If you are a writer who wants to have a lot of input and control over the design process of your book, then this may not be the best option as you won’t have much control with a traditional publisher.
- Your royalties are low. On average authors make 8%-12% royalties on the retail price of their book. This varies of course, but it means that the publishing house is taking the rest of the cut. They use that money to pay for their editors, designers, connections, etc., but that money is coming from the sales of your book. As a result traditional publishing companies have a lot to lose if a book doesn’t sell well and will usually remove a text from print if sales are not satisfactory in six months.
- You won’t own the rights to your book. Many writers are unaware of this at first. But when you publish with a traditional publishing house your contract will usually specify that they own the rights to your book for so many years. This has to do with keeping your work, which they worked on too, away from their competitors.
- You will receive little marketing help. Though it is true that authors need to be in charge of their own marketing, many writers think that ties with a large publishing company mean access to their marketing connections. This is just not true. Most traditional publishers will not pay for your book to be marketed, unless you are a big, superstar author. And, even if they did pay for marketing, their campaigns will only last 3-4 months. Signing with a traditional publisher does not guarantee you any publicity whatsoever.
- You pay a fee to have your book published. No, we do not pay advances for books. You would select the package that best fits your publishing needs with the help of one of our publishers. The good news is that price includes your cover designer, interior designer, etc. And you only have to pay a portion of it up front. Recently traditional publishers have caught on to this trend and some won’t pay any advance, but will cover publishing expenses.
- You will have control over your book’s design. We have editors and designers that we recommend you work with, just like big publishing companies. The difference is that we believe that you understand better than anyone else what your book is about. You should have final call on what the cover looks like and how the interior is set up. You should be making the final decisions when it comes to your book. We believe that you should not only be happy with the final product, but you should also feel like you were an integral part in its entire creation.
- Your royalties are high. We offer between 30% and 40% royalties on the retail price of your book. We believe that since it is your book you should make a fair amount of money from it.
- You will own the rights to your book. As we mentioned earlier most big publishing companies will own the rights to your book for several years. That means if you are unhappy with your experience, or if they stop printing it because sales are low, you can’t take it anywhere else. At Lucid Books we believe that your book is your book.
- We will come along side you in the marketing process. No we won’t do all of the marketing for you. This is mostly because you are the best person to talk about your book. We will offer advice and coaching on how to proceed with marketing, as well as provide resources to help you understand what to do next. We want your book to be successful and we believe that you are the perfect person to make that happen.
In the end no one can tell you what publishing option is right for you. Choosing which route to take can be overwhelming. Hopefully the information we provided today was helpful in guiding you to the publisher that is the best option for you and your book.
What have been your main reservations about working with a traditional publisher? Share with us in the comments section below.