Publishing?

Okay, here’s a post begging for answers. Too many questions that I can’t find answers for online.

Publishing…. self vs traditional vs whatever else is out there. I know very little about it. Really, all I know is what I’ve read online in the last half hour.

I know the general differences. With self publishing, you have more control over the finished product, but you don’t get paid to publish, you do all the work yourself, etc. What I don’t get is traditional publishing. Here’s a list of questions, because it just seems easier in list format.

1. I’ve heard editors rip books to shreds and make them “nearly unrecognizable.” One person used those actual words, “nearly unrecognizable.” How accurate is that? What are your rights as an author? Once you agree to let a publishing house publish, can they edit it however they want without consulting you further? Or what? No clue…

2. How do you go about finding a publisher that’s right for your genre? I searched for fantasy publishers and just ended up confused. I don’t know what I’m doing.

3. Dumb question (maybe not the first in this post)…. do you have to publish with someone who is in your country, or state, or what? Someone close by, or does it matter?

4. Can you submit something to more than one publisher at a time? Or is that a no-no?

5. Is there something in between traditional and self publishing? Something that gives an author a wee bit more control, but that doesn’t require the author to do all the work? I know that sounds lazy, but… I’m trying to imagine myself marketing anything, and it’s scary and sad.

6. Are there more questions I should be asking that I’m just not aware of because I have NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING?

I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Any at all…. thanks.

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2 responses to “Publishing?

  1. Ooh yay, I love talking about publishing.

    1. If you’re an unknown author, they will edit as much as they need to to make the book meet their specifications. If you don’t like it, then you leave and take your book with you. But then they won’t publish it. If you’re a known author, you decide what gets cut, because you make millions of dollars and the publishing company desperately wants you to stay with them and not leave them for another company.
    2. Before you get a publisher, you need a literary agent. Google “literary agents” and see what comes up. 99% of the time, if you submit a manuscript direct to a publisher, they’ll toss it in the trash. You need a literary agent because the agents are professionals and experienced, so when they submit your manuscript to the publishing house, it’s kind of a stamp of approval from them so the publishing house knows your book is at least semi-decent.
    3. You don’t have to, but it’s probably easiest.
    4. You can, but again, get a literary agent first. They will take care of all the submissions for you.
    5. Well, you can do what I did, and go the vanity publisher route. I hired iUniverse to basically build my book for me. So they did the interior design, cover design, editing, etc. Be warned, it’s expensive. And if you want someone to deal with marketing for you, you’ll need to hire a publicist.

    Well, hope you enjoyed reading my mini-essay, lol.

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