Writing a book | Quotable Magazine

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Writing a Book? Here’s Which Publishing Option is Best for You

Do you have an idea for a book that has been rolling around in your mind? Is there a story that keeps popping into your head when you take a walk, drive your car, or get in the shower? So many of us have great ideas for writing a book! And most of us don’t know where to start… I sat on my first book idea for almost eight years because I didn’t know where to begin.

If you’re looking to publish a book, there are typically two routes you can take: Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing.

Benefits of Traditional Publishing:

Becoming a published author through a traditional publishing house has its benefits. Your book can show up in every Barnes and Noble around the country. You may get an advance for your work. And you might have someone coordinate your book tour. All good things!

It’s a great option for many talented writers, especially if you are willing to put in three or more years of effort to see your book on the shelf. Traditional publishing may involve one to two years to find an agent and a publisher, and then another two years before the final book is released. Here’s a little secret about me: I am not a patient person!

Benefits of Self-Publishing:

First, let’s clear up a misconception: self-publishing is not the default for authors who could not find a publisher. Far from it! Self-publishing is an active, creative decision. And it’s the decision that was best for me. If you are an author considering your publishing options, here are a few benefits that I have found from the indie publishing or self-publishing world.

1.You set the timeline. I love that I can sketch out an idea in my notebook and, within the year, there will be a final book in print to have, hold, and read aloud! Now, don’t get me wrong, there are about 200 steps that happen between the notebook and the final product, but it’s on my own timeline. And with some determination, I can make it happen. My last book, “Let’s Meet on the Moon” went from concept to final print in eight months. And I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!

2. You choose your costs. Every author needs a budget. As a self-published author, you do need to put in some up-front costs, which can be challenging. But you can also choose where and how to allocate those costs. For example, I chose not to hire an agent. And I was able to do a review swap with an editor, eliminating that initial expense. I researched the printer that is the best fit for my work and gives me a price point that allows me to make a profit on each sale. I can then re-purpose those funds into strategic marketing options that engage readers across the country. And all of those choices allowed me to do $10,000 in sales during the first 3 months of my very first book launch.

3. If you are a children’s book author, you choose the illustrator. When I was first researching publishing options, it became clear that, as a newer author, a traditional publisher would pair me with one of their own illustrators. That could have been a great option! But it was also clear that in the traditional set up, authors and illustrators work mostly independently, and there is not always opportunity for true collaboration. I knew that I wanted to work with Emily Siwek, an amazing local illustrator. And so I got to make that decision and am happy that I did.

As an indie author, you can still get your book into Barnes and Noble, go on a book tour, and have readers across the country fall in love with your work.

4. Good news! As an indie author, you can still get your book into Barnes and Noble, go on a book tour, and have readers across the country fall in love with your work. It may just take a little more elbow grease on your part, but it’s definitely doable- and can be incredibly exciting!

Thinking that self-publishing might be a great option for you? Then I invite you to look into it more and get started on your journey!

LAUREN RANALLI is an award winning children’s book writer and marketing coach for aspiring & self published authors. Check out The Self-Publishing Roadmap: Key Steps to Becoming a Publisher Author and sign up for her newsletter on her website to receive free weekly resources. You can find her at laurenranalli.com

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