The first question you need to ask yourself as a writer is, “Why am I writing?” says Jared Kuritz, Co-President of Strategies, during his presentation, “Publishing with a Purpose.” The answer to this question will help you determine your publishing needs.
Jared offers writers 4 reasons, and it’s important to select the one that best fits you.
1) For a personal reason. Is it an extension of journaling?
2) For posterity. For example a grandparent writing for his grandchildren or a CEO writing for his employees.
3) For professional reasons. To augment your existing business.
4) Writing for profit. To make a living at it.
Your answer to, “Why am I writing?” will determine your publishing goals.
Jared covered traditional publishing, Cooperative publishing, Self publishing, Vanity publishing and print on demand (POD).
This post will highlight the points Jared made on traditional publishing, that I found useful and interesting.
With the traditional BIG publishers, 96-97% of all books FAIL. What kind of a business can succeed with such a high failure rate? “It’s the Stephen Kings and J.K. Rowlings that carry those publishers,” Jared said. The pro’s are that the publisher absorbs all the costs, and the initial and ongoing publishing duties, for example sending your books to book events where you have decided to promote your own book. The con’s are that you, the author have no control over any publishing decisions, and that you have to buy books from your publisher for PR, unless you’ve negotiated say 500 or so books specifically for promotion in your contract. Otherwise any book you need, you’ll have to pay the publisher 60% of the cover price.
In general on a cover price of $20.00, the bookstore gets $8-$11 (40-55%), the distributor gets $3.40-$7.00 (17-35%), the publisher $4.40-$9.00 (22-45%), the agent ($0.24-$0.36) and the author nets $1.36-$2.04
I know most writers are aware of all these layers and how, with the traditional big publishers, authors are at the bottom of the totem pole. What I had not heard of myself is that many mid-size to small publishers are offering Cooperative Publishing. I shall let you know what Jared Kuritz, said about this new trend in my next post.
How would you answer, “Why am I writing?”
Another thing I’d love to have you share with us, and I shall post it with a link to your blog in my next post, is your book synopsis in 25 words. I worked on mine, and shall post it next time as it helps determine your publishing goals.