• Zeba Ali

All You Need to Know about Publishing!

It's a new year and I'm finally free from my exams. So I get more time on my hand and also for all you guys :D


The thing today I want to discuss is about the topic I'm most asked questions on. Publishing. I have recently published my first paperback if you are new here, Beyond Our Melancholy, and now I have some kind of knowledge about publishing and its core.



I will start our discussion from the many types of format of a book we have now available around us so it gets easy for you to have an idea of what we are talking about.


1. Paperback Book


A simple definition of the paperback book will be a book that you can hold in your hands, having a paper cover. According to the Oxford dictionary, a paperback is a book bound in stiff paper or a flexible card.



2. Hardcover Book



They are the books that have a tough and hardcover (obvious :P). They look elegant and a book lover like me always wants some or all of them stacked in my bookshelf.


3. Ebook


Ebooks generally speaking are the soft copy of your book which you can read on your mobile devices, computer, laptops or any kindle console. Books present on Wattpad, Inkitt, Dreame, and other apps are the best example of Ebooks.




So now when we have understood what type of book formats are available around us, it's safe to enter the world of publishing.


Publishing can be divided into two parts: Traditional Publishing and Self Publishing. As I know about Self Publishing, I will first take you through it and then move to the other.


Self Publishing


Publishing which is done by your own expense is called Self Publishing. It's somewhat dreaded because you are putting everything into it, your manuscript, money, and luck. There are many publishers in India who self-publish, just like BlueRose Publishers, NotionPress, Pothi.com, Amazon KDP, IngramSpark, and there are many more.


I went for Amazon KDP for my first publishing because it is one of the first things we see, FREE. I published my first ebook with them but having zero knowledge about publishing I didn't quite get the proper response.


Pros:

  • They are free for ebooks. For paperbacks they have print-on-demand, so that amount will be deducted from your royalties.

  • They have ebooks and paperbacks facilities.

  • Many schemes for the author to grow the sales of their book; KDP promotions, Free Book Promotions, KDP Select, many more.


Cons:

  • If you're an Indian author (bad news), Amazon KDP won't distribute Paperbacks to India. So you can have ebooks worldwide distribute but if you want paperbacks too, search any other options.


For my paperback debut, I went for BlueRose Publishers. They are one of the leading self-publishers in India. Their customer support is great and they will be with you in contact till the end of your publishing.


Pros:

  • Five packages to choose from. Basic, Essential, Popular, Premium, Premium+.

  • Customizable packages, if you don't need anything from your package, you can remove it. I went for Popular package and I removed Goodreads page setup, facebook page setup and also Website because I had already had these.

  • Editing free of cost if you're choosing packages like Popular, Premium, Premium+.

  • Can calculate royalty beforehand to get the idea.


Cons:

  • The royalty would be near to zero as compared to the cost given for publishing if your book is not doing well in the market.

  • Many measures to take for marketing especially book reviews, to grow the sales.


Many times people like to compare Amazon KDP and Ingram Spark but the main difference between them is Ingram Spark is costly while Amazon is free. It has a good reputation over the countries for its worldwide distribution but their terms and contract statements are often confusing.


Notion Press has the same reputation when it comes to self-publishing. Many people have complaints regarding their lack of concern towards the writers or their work.


Pothi.com is also a well-known name in the self-publishing industry. They have a print-on-demand facility with global distribution via Amazon and Flipkart. You can check out their price and royalty calculator to have a rough idea of how much you will be getting out of your sales.


Traditional Publishing


Traditional publishing is the ideal graph of every writer because it gives you a needed exposure. I am still a self-published author so I won't be a good speaker about this topic but I can tell you some important points which I have learned during these years about publishing. Penguin Random House, Bloomsbury, Rupa, Hachette, are some of the leading traditional publishers in India.


It's least expensive as your traditional publisher will be taking care of your book publishing, cover designing, editing.

It increases your credibility as a writer if you're getting traditionally published by renowned names, like Penguin publishers for example.


But most of the Traditional Publishers won't even acknowledge your manuscripts directly. For that, you have to go through the Literary agents. It's good to go via literary agents because once going through your manuscript, they can tell you which publisher will be the best for you and according to your budget.


Literary Agents will never charge you just at the first reading. If they are doing that, run away from them!


Many traditional publisher's websites have the contact information of the literary agents who are connected with them. You can go through these and according to their submission criteria, can submit your synopsis or other requirements.


Some renowned names when coming to Literary agents are, Siyahi, Jacaranda, WritersSide.


That's all for today. I have put up a rough sketch in front of you about self-publishing and traditional publishers mainly in India but it's all up to you to see which does fit in your budget. I'm also linking Jenna Moreci (the author of the bestselling self-published novel, The Saviour's Champion)'s videos about Traditional publishing and Self Publishing to clear your further doubts.




Until next time, keep writing :)

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