Phone Img for BHPubs Mobile Number
(806) 513-2000
Clock for Business Hours
Mon-Fri: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Map Ping for BHPubs Location
600 S Tyler Street, Ste 2100, Amarillo, TX 79101
A Giant Book with a Women reading it

Self Publishing

What if I self-publish?

This topic is very near and dear to Charles (our founder) because he went down this road. He decided to build Blue Handle Publishing alongside the new Book Puma Services Platform in response to this stressful process.

There are many places to access information on how to self-publish or how to do it. There are small groups on social media sites such as Facebook as well as videos on YouTube. The problem goes back to the lack of a centralized place to find information and a customer service platform. If you need help, just even a little bit, maybe a few hours worth, it can be difficult to find. You can find gig work, but where is the company to stand up?

The self-publishing world can be described as trying to build a car from a kit. You may have some directions, but you will need help along the way and probably some tools you don’t have access to. The problem there lies in which tool, which brand, and how much should you spend? This process can be fun if you are that type of jump in the archetype.

For most, the self-publishing world feels like standing in the middle of the ocean on a small platform with nothing in sight. Then you have to choose which direction to go, hoping it’s the right one. Then there is the question of finding your way back home, with anything when you get lost.

You are the author, editor, book designer and CEO of your own small company when you go down this route. You can hire people along the way and grow your company or hire temp workers, but it’s your job to make all of those decisions at the end of the day. That’s what self-publishing truly is, a GIANT LEAP OF FAITH!

Self Publishing is the publication of a work or manuscript by the author themselves rather than signing a contract with a traditional, established publisher. It’s the art of getting your own book from rough manuscript to finished product, and making it available in distribution channels for purchase (consumption) by the reading world. If you have a finished manuscript and cover, you can easily and economically (for free!) self-publish eBooks with services like Kindle Direct Publishing and Draft2Digital, which offer a platform for self-published authors to reach readers. If you want to self-publish and also sell print books, companies like Ingram Spark offer printing and distribution services that can be used by anyone, not just publishers. Self-publishing can feel daunting, as you are doing all of the work to write, edit, design, market and distribute your book, and there is a lot of information out there on the internet that may or may not be helpful.

Pros of Self Publishing

A primary benefit of self-publishing is that you don’t have a contract and you maintain full ownership and creative control of the work. You are compensated for all sales of the book without a percentage taken out of it by a publisher. You are 100% in control of all decisions. If or when your book takes off, you will get all of the royalties, minus any vendor fees you may have to pay (printing fees etc.) When working with a traditional publisher, their various departmental teams do most of the legwork, resulting in less payout for the author. It is very hard to get noticed and traditionally published, so self-publishing circumvents the barriers to the traditional publishing industry. Doing it on your own at first with services can allow you to build an audience and cultivate a voice that makes you marketable to bigger publishing houses.

Cons of Self Publishing

Self-Publishing can be challenging, as you as the author have to do everything, and it requires a lot of research and tenacity. You have less direct access to resources than traditional publishers do, such as bookstores, printing connections, publicists, graphic design artists, and editorial teams to name a handful. You also have to pay for the cost of publishing your book yourself without the benefit of receiving an advance. All publishing costs associated are fronted by you as the author rather than the publisher. You can make lots of mistakes along the way, and without someone teaching, helping or guiding you, mistakes can happen. You may release a book with issues or have formatting problems with your cover or the interior. As you learn, you will get better, but the process can feel overwhelming, especially if you are only self-publishing one book and don’t see yourself as someone wanting to publish lots of books.

How to Self Publish

How do I self-publish? This question is very broad and each person may take their own approach, but there are a handful of industry tools and services out there to help self-published authors. For ebooks, there are platforms such as Draft2Digital and Kindle Direct Publishing. You just have to provide a properly formatted manuscript and the corresponding artwork and these services will push it out onto their platforms for ebook purchase. It is important to double check the formatting requirements before you upload any manuscript for ebook consumption. You also need to purchase ISBNs and copyrights, (Bowker is one place to purchase) and assign an ISBN to the finished work in each format. Draft2Digital provides free ISBNs if you use their service. If you want to self-publish print books as well you need to utilize a printing resource such as IngramSpark and provide the required formatted work. Marketing is also important when self-publishing, as you should make sure to have social media platforms to help boost and promote your work. Utilizing advertising and marketing features from Amazon, Instagram and Facebook will help promote your book and reach new readers.

Contact Us - Blue Handle Publishing
Book Publishing
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
An Opened Book

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing makes up for around an estimated 80% of book sales each year, while only an estimated 3% of titles are traditionally published. However, many books are still successful without being traditionally published. The major traditional publishers (also known as the Big 5) are Penguin/Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster.Another form of publishing in the traditional sense are small presses.

They stay true to many of the practices of larger publishers but, to put it bluntly, have not been bought out yet. Blue Handle Publishing is currently a small press. Because it’s a smaller company, it naturally establishes more of a partnership between author and publisher, the interaction between author and publisher holding more of a presence than with a larger publisher. If that’s something you seek, working with a small press may be a good option to consider versus simply selling your manuscript to a Big 5 in hopes of becoming a famous author.

What is Traditional Publishing?

An established company organized to help authors print, create and distribute written works across multiple platforms. This includes print format (both hardback and paperback), e-book format and the audio format of the book. Traditional publishers pay for all the costs associated with the production, editing, marketing and distribution of the book and do not recoup their investment until the book begins to sell. Typically an established publishing company is one of the Big 5 publishers, which includes Penguin/Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette & Macmillan. All of these Big 5 publishers also have hundreds of imprints that they own, or rather, smaller publishing companies or small presses. For example, Little Brown & Company is a smaller publishing company owned by Hachette, making Hachette Little Brown’s parent company. The publisher will typically buy the manuscript from you (the writer) and a contract will be signed with an agreed upon royalty advance between the author and publisher, usually with negotiation help by an agent. Amounts in royalty advances range and are dependent on how many copies the publisher thinks the book will sell. The more copies they think the book will sell, the higher the advance will be. Once an advance is decided upon, a contract is signed, and the publisher will then work with the author to edit and polish the manuscript to prepare it for market.

Pros of Traditional Publishing

A main advantage of publishing traditionally is that you as the writer receive an upfront royalty advance for the rights to your work, and this is paid immediately upon signing with the publisher. Instead of spending your own money to market and distribute your book or written work, you make money in advance and then the publisher uses their own money to print, market and sell the book. In short, signing with a publisher allows the author to assume no financial risk if they are content with the royalty advance and terms of the agreement. Additionally, large, traditional publishers have access to printing services, distribution services, digital services, and in-house art and editorial teams, to name a few, all which are helpful to an author in terms of refining and selling their work. Publishers also have sales departments and teams of people that work together to get your book in front of different markets, along with sales reps that operate in different regions (even internationally) to help pitch and get your book out into the world. As mentioned before, traditional publishing makes up for around an estimated 80% of book sales each year, while only an estimated 3% of titles are traditionally published, so it’s appeal is evident. That being said, there are still books that are successful without being traditionally published by the Big 5.

Cons of Traditional Publishing

What could be considered a disadvantage to publishing traditionally is that an author loses majority rights to their work, and will make nothing until the royalty advance is paid off. After it’s paid off, authors typically receive 50% of all sales. Book sales must exceed the initial royalty advance for the author to make additional money during a book’s lifetime. If the book does not sell, the publishing house and sales teams have the right to do with it what they will, spending their marketing and advertising dollars elsewhere and on different titles, if that’s what they feel will sell better in their eyes. In short, the author sells the book to the publisher, and it is now up to the publisher to manage. The author also risks losing some creative control over the work, as oftentimes traditional publishers will take it upon themselves to change titles, covers and other creative aspects or elements of the work that may or may not be satisfactory in the eyes of the author, or be aligned with how the author had originally envisioned their work. The process, historically and on average, with a larger publisher is that they may like your story, but they will also want to make it fit what they know, or feel, will sell. Inevitably, you may lose a fair amount of control of your manuscript to ensure they maximize the return on their investment. If someone is going to spend thousands (if not millions) marketing and preparing your book, they will want a fair share of control.

How to Publish Traditionally

First, before you publish any written work you need to finish and polish your manuscript. If you have the money, you could work with a freelance editor and have them take a look at your work and help you refine it through copyediting, line editing, developmental editing or proofreading. You can also do this yourself if you feel up to it, but it’s always helpful to have another pair of eyes on a manuscript. Blue Handle’s Book Puma Platform offers editing services that can help you workshop your manuscript to get it where you want and need it to be. A benefit of Book Puma’s editing services is that editors work in teams so you are not paying for only one eye to review and edit your manuscript. No matter what editorial route you choose, if any, once you feel your work is ready to be seen you will typically want to shop it around to agents. This is where you will need to write an agent query letter or query submission. Our Book Puma Services Platform can also help you with this process at an affordable cost. Once (or if) you find an agent who is willing to represent you, the agent will then shop your manuscript around to different publishers and work to negotiate a contract between you and a publisher. There may be some occasions where an author will get their book picked up without an agent, but working with one is the industry standard. The agent is there to represent the author through the publishing process and contract negotiations, and is often still involved as the book is produced, marketed and sold across platforms. When working with an agent it is important to find one that you trust and that you work well with, as they will be representing your needs as an author.

A Pen Writing on a Piece of Paper

Hybrid Publishing

What is Hybrid Publishing?

Let’s first start by recognizing something about Hybrid Publishing, and it used to be called Vanity publishing. Though people don’t like the name “Vanity,” it is where it began. The idea of publishing for yourself is a form of vanity. The industry had become filled with some companies preying on naïve authors, and many bad cases arose. To fix the image, the term HYBRID was born.

Hybrid publishing is like hiring a consultant to help you “self-publish.” There are some options where you share royalties because they feel they can add funds (marketing) to your book. As the author, you will always spend money in this process, as you are paying them to help you do a job. It’s like hiring a professional painter for your house. You can paint a wall, but will it come out as nice or be done as efficiently?

Hybrid Publishing operates with a different revenue model than traditional publishing while retaining much of the traditional publishing practices. However, rather than offering the author an advance the hybrid publisher charges the author a fee to access their publishing services. Hybrid publishing is also known as vanity publishing, or the pay-for-print model. Essentially, you find a company with publishing industry knowledge and experience to help you get your book into the marketplace. Hybrid publishing companies each have their own specific revenue model, where some lower the cost of publishing for a piece of the royalty, while some companies have a higher initial price but the author maintains all royalty rights. You could almost think of Hybrid Publishing as assisted self-publishing.

Pros of Hybrid Publishing

A primary benefit of self-publishing is that you don’t have a contract and you maintain full ownership and creative control of the work. You are compensated for all sales of the book without a percentage taken out of it by a publisher. You are 100% in control of all decisions. If or when your book takes off, you will get all of the royalties, minus any vendor fees you may have to pay (printing fees etc.) When working with a traditional publisher, their various departmental teams do most of the legwork, resulting in less payout for the author. It is very hard to get noticed and traditionally published, so self-publishing circumvents the barriers to the traditional publishing industry. Doing it on your own at first with services can allow you to build an audience and cultivate a voice that makes you marketable to bigger publishing houses.

Cons of Hybrid Publishing

Self-Publishing can be challenging, as you as the author have to do everything, and it requires a lot of research and tenacity. You have less direct access to resources than traditional publishers do, such as bookstores, printing connections, publicists, graphic design artists, and editorial teams to name a handful. You also have to pay for the cost of publishing your book yourself without the benefit of receiving an advance. All publishing costs associated are fronted by you as the author rather than the publisher. You can make lots of mistakes along the way, and without someone teaching, helping or guiding you, mistakes can happen. You may release a book with issues or have formatting problems with your cover or the interior. As you learn, you will get better, but the process can feel overwhelming, especially if you are only self-publishing one book and don’t see yourself as someone wanting to publish lots of books.

How to Hybrid Publish

How do I self-publish? This question is very broad and each person may take their own approach, but there are a handful of industry tools and services out there to help self-published authors. For ebooks, there are platforms such as Draft2Digital and Kindle Direct Publishing. You just have to provide a properly formatted manuscript and the corresponding artwork and these services will push it out onto their platforms for ebook purchase. It is important to double check the formatting requirements before you upload any manuscript for ebook consumption. You also need to purchase ISBNs and copyrights, (Bowker is one place to purchase) and assign an ISBN to the finished work in each format. Draft2Digital provides free ISBNs if you use their service. If you want to self-publish print books as well you need to utilize a printing resource such as IngramSpark and provide the required formatted work. Marketing is also important when self-publishing, as you should make sure to have social media platforms to help boost and promote your work. Utilizing advertising and marketing features from Amazon, Instagram and Facebook will help promote your book and reach new readers.

Address
600 S Tyler Street
Ste 2100
Amarillo, TX 79101
Contacts
© Copyright 2022 Blue Handle Publishing - All Rights Reserved          
Website Design : Five Dog Solutions