You’re holding your finished draft in your hands? Congratulations! You’re one of few who can put an END underneath your book. If you haven’t celebrated your success yet, do it now! Clap on your own back, you did a marvelous job. We’re proud of you!
Now… do you want to publish your book? There is nothing wrong with loving to write, but wanting to keep your story to yourself. Writing itself can be rewarding enough for some and that is perfectly fine. But if you want to publish it, you will have to correct and polish your draft.
You won’t do yourself a favor if you make someone read a first draft, because, let’s face it, the first draft is unfinished raw material with potential.
Only when you polish your raw diamond to its full shine you’re allowed to turn to publishing. Deal? Okay. Here are the different paths you may choose to follow on your way to publishing.

Publishing Houses

To take the route over traditional publishing would clearly be the classical approach and on the more comfortable side. The publisher is responsible for the complete editing and publication of your work. This includes proper editing and proofreading, design and layout of a cover page and the general layout as well as the actual distribution of the book.
Since they pay for everything, they carry the whole risk of getting the book on the market, which is a huge advantage. Another important point is their professionalism and potentionally their market power.
On the other hand the margin they pay to the author is on the lower side. From each net sales price the author gets around 5-12% for a printed book and around 25-30% for digital copies. Aside from that it’s very hard for new authors to be taken in by a publisher at all. This is where agencies come into play.

Agencies

If you can get an agency to represent you and your draft, they will get in contact with matching publishers and try to get your book published. Typically they do the whole negotiation with the publisher and often get better margins than the author him- or herself.
They are paid through each purchase of the book when it is printed, so they have a high interest in drafts which promise success. Even after publishing the book they usually take care of incoming payments and everything, thereby enabling the author to concentrate fully on writing.
Using agencies is standard procedure nowadays.

Publishers as well as agencies expect a professional synopsis of your work. Usually you can find the expected materials and information on their homepage.

Vanity Publishing Houses

Despite the name, this is NO publishing house. No publisher at all, in our opinion.
They don’t do any of the tasks a respectable publisher would do, like editing and proofreading your draft and they demand huge sums from the author to actually print the book. Your read that right. You pay for publishing the book. They won’t market your book and they won’t make arrangements to get your book into the stores. You will have to buy your own printed books from the so-called ‘publisher’ to distribute it yourself. We highly disadvise to use them.

Selfpublishing

Selfpublishing on the other hand is a legit way to publish your work. Typically you’d opt for a digital distribution, because it minimizes your own cost, though you could actually get it printed and sell as a physical book as well. There are a range of businesses that provide the platform to distribute your book like Amazon (Kindle-Direct-Publishing).
One thing to keep in mind is, that you will have to be very professional, because you and you alone are responsible for the quality of your book. We highly recommend you invest in a professional editor who can correct and proofread your draft. We also suggest you don’t skimp on the book cover, because it is incredibly important to actually sell the book.
This means that you’ll have to spend a good amount of money, but you know exactly where your money goes and what value it provides for you. And you have the complete control over everything and earn as much as 75% of the net sales price.

The publishing world is changing and especially the opportunity to publish yourself empowers a lot of authors and is getting more popular and legitimate. You have to decide for yourself which way to choose, but think about all advantages and disadvantages.
If you need more information about something, let us know! What are you especially interested in? Where do you need more details?

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