Gone are the days when there was only one route to publication. These days, on top of traditional publishing, we also have the option to self-publish and publish digitally.
A traditional publisher is what most people think of when they think about publishing. They’re publishers who take on all the financial risk of producing a publication and will often pay you for the rights to reproduce your work. A traditional publisher will take care of editing, proofreading, typesetting and design, printing, and sometimes marketing and publicity as well.
If you want to take this route, it’s worth doing your research about who publishes what kinds of books and whether a larger or a smaller firm would be better for you.
When you self-publish your book, you take on the role of a publisher. This does not mean you take on every job associated in creating your book, but that you manage the publishing project and choose who you want to work with. More often than not this route involves cash outlay from yourself to cover publication costs. However, there are some publishers, known as partnership publishers, who will take on some of the costs for you. It is worth being clear about what you want, and then doing serious research to decide what will suit your needs.
There are many reasons why you might choose self-publishing: to have more control over your publishing experience, to publish to a smaller niche audience, or to have more control over your royalty cheque.
Digital publishing is publishing your work in a format that can be downloaded from the internet and read on a device (such as an eReader, an iPad or a laptop). If you’re with a traditional publisher they will most likely take care of the digital requirements for your work alongside the traditional printed publishing. There are some traditional publishers out there who only publish eBooks. As with everything, always do your research and be clear about what you want and what you’re being offered.
If you’re not with a traditional publisher you can still digitally publish your own work. Ebooks can make a book immediately accessible, giving you the chance to sell your book online through your own website or through large retailers such as Amazon with just the click of a button.