How to Select a Genuine Platform to Publish Your Book
Writing is a passion for many people and a passive income-generating opportunity for others. And while digital technology has dramatically affected our reading culture, millions of books still get published annually.
According to Words Rated, up to 4 million books are published annually in the United States alone. That translates to about 11,000 books daily.
Many published works become highly acclaimed and go on to receive multiple accolades. However, a decent percentage never gets to see the light of day.
Numerous factors can determine whether your book becomes a bestseller or ends up gathering moss on library shelves. One such aspect is your publishing platform. A book publishing platform can make or break your writing career. Therefore, you want to pull up all the stops when selecting a publisher.
This article highlights the key aspects to look for in a genuine book publishing platform.
1. Check What Books Publishers Specialize In
The very first question to ask your prospective publisher is the types of books they deal in. That's because books fall into multiple categories. Besides the hardcover books you're probably already familiar with, there are also audiobooks and e-books.
Although the terms "audiobooks" and "e-books" are often used interchangeably, they do not precisely refer to the same thing. E-books are textbooks designed to be read on a screen. On the other hand, audiobooks are meant for listening to the same way you'd listen to CDs or tapes.
There's no shortage of professional audiobook production companies that promise bespoke customer services. However, many other key aspects must be considered before adding the publisher to your shortlist.
2. Check the Creativity of The Platform
Many book publishing companies promote their services primarily based on time efficiency and affordability.
You'll stumble upon numerous publishers who promise incredible turnarounds at industry-competitive rates. While that's great, it's also best to understand the company's creativity levels.
For instance, the publisher should be able to recommend an attractive and suitable book cover. They should also offer more insights regarding the book's formatting and structure.
3. Look For Artistic Freedom
As we've just pointed out, a professional book publishing company must demonstrate a genuine desire to make your book stand out by recommending the best cover and format. But that's not all.
The company should also offer more artistic freedom to let you choose the book title and theme color.
Just be sure not to abuse this freedom. The best way to go about it would be to discuss the merits and demerits of the chosen elements with the publisher.
4. Check Their Turnaround
Book publishing is an intricate process that should be handled meticulously. You don't want to mess up months (sometimes years) of hard work. That said, choosing a publisher with a reasonable turnaround is prudent.
Two to three weeks is the standard delivery period. However, this can vary considerably depending on the type and volume of book you're publishing.
Remember that the turnaround begins when you give the company the green light to publish. This is usually after having the initial draft proofread and edited.
5. Look For Rate Card Like
It doesn't matter whether a publisher meets all the other requirements. They'll only be able to publish your book if you agree on the price.
So, be sure to ask for the company's rate card beforehand.
Book publishing costs in the US vary from $500 to $5,000. The exact amount will depend on many factors, including the book type, publisher reputation, and the amount of editing & designing services required.
6. Go through Company's Policy on Copyright
Copyright infringement is a serious offense punishable by law. Ironically, this is one area many authors often skimp on. Deciding who'll hold your books' copyright is crucial when looking for a publisher.
The conventional wisdom is to let the company know you'll retain all book rights. That's regardless of whether it's a 1000-page essay or a one-page poem. And the agreement must be in writing for ease of reference.
Also, note that retaining copyright for your books doesn't amount to registering for a copyright. Copyright registration is a whole new procedure that adds an extra layer of protection to your work.
7. How Much Royalty Are You Willing To Cede
Some innovative publishers charge you minimal one-off publishing fees in exchange for lucrative royalties. Others will ask for exorbitant publishing fees but still demand a sizable percentage of the royalties.
Always keep your guard up when discussing royalties. Remember that you hold more sway in these negotiations.
The percentage of royalties to cede to the publisher would depend on numerous factors. Examples include material requirements planning (MRP) and target readership.
8. Check if The Publisher Make Provisions For An ISBN Code
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique book identification numeric code assigned to professionally published books, whether print or electronic. Books published on or after January 1, 2007, typically have 13-digit ISBN codes, while those published after have 10-digit codes.
ISBN codes are free in most (if not all) jurisdictions. So, shun any publisher trying to sell the code to you.
However, note that applying for the ISBN code can be time-consuming. That's why it's best to choose a publishing company that helps expedite the process.
9. Go For a Strong Company With Robust Promotional Strategies
You're not getting your book published to gather dust in the libraries. Instead, you want the book to fly off the shelves within weeks of launching it.
Many publishers will want to be part of your book promotional campaigns. That means they may demand an additional marketing fee.
If you already have a massive social media following, you could leverage your online community to push your works to them.
10. Check the Distribution Channel the Publisher Recommend
Last but not least, experts recommend choosing a publisher with a credible distribution channel.
Avoid companies that only plan to sell your book on their website. Instead, insist on publishers affiliated with reputable distribution networks, especially those spread overseas. This is an ingenious way to give your book more visibility.
Most importantly, try to establish that these distribution networks are independent entities and not mere extensions of the publisher.
The process of choosing a book publishing platform can be long-winded or straightforward, depending on the questions you ask the company.
Remember that choosing the best publisher comes down to ultimately your specific needs and budget.