Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Should I send my book to a publisher?

Most die-hard self publishers will probably tell you an emphatic NO to this. Being a pragmatist, let us consider the merits of this question.

Why does a person send their work to a publisher? To get published of course.

Even in this day and age where self publishers have a lot going for them, not too many of them manage to make the kind of sales that the regular publishers do. So while self publishing may give you 10,000 sales with a 70% royalty on sales price, a publisher may manage 100,000 books sold with a 15% - 20% royalty on it. Ultimately the amount of money you make is probably the same. Of course you may very well sell 100,000 copies when you self publish, but not too many can hit this mark. I'm just being a realist without putting anyone or their work down.

So if it isn't the money, then why would you want to send your book to a publisher?

Whether you believe it or not, a publisher has his uses. Many of them will give you feedback on how you can improve your writing, or where they think you've got it wrong. Now this feedback may or may not be right, and it is after all their impression, but considering that their job relies on them finding a hot selling book, putting in some careful thought into their feedback will only benefit you.

Not all publishers do this, but then, everything comes down to your approach and how you interact with them. Even those who don't have a lot of time will still at least give you a one or two line feedback that will give you an industry person's perspective on your work.

This is important because I believe that before you go the self publishing route, you need to ask as many people as you can to go through it and give you their feedback. And the wider your sample size, the better the nature of your feedback. If you include a publisher or two into the mix, you'll have a lot of solid data that you can use to fine tune your book before you self publish.

Self publishing is a gamble where you throw the dice hoping for a 6. Doing this sampling just ensures that you have a better chance of hitting this than if you don't. That's all.

Once again, this is just my opinion, and there may be a number of people with different opinions. That's ok. Like I said, self publishing is a gamble and each person has their own way of trying to beat the odds. I think that this is a good idea which is why I'm telling you about it.

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