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Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

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>> Hi, everyone, and welcome. My name is Marissa, and I work on a lot of the backend processes that go into managing the Launch Your Dream Book Course here at IIN. I am a published author myself, I actually went the traditional publishing route for my first book, and now I'm working on self-publishing, my second. So today, I'm going to be explaining to you some of the differences between self-publishing and traditional or mainstream publishing, since this is something a lot of our students tend to ask questions about and are curious about. So in this video, I'll also be introducing you

to the self-publishing companies we most recommend working with based on our personal experiences, and the experiences of students in the Launch Your Dream Book Course. But before we dive in, I do want to remind you that this video is just a basic overview and introduction to the publishing process. We know that many of you are still in the writing stage and that's totally okay. We'll be providing more in-depth information and resources in future modules as we move more into the publishing phase. But for today, we're only going to be setting the foundation. All right, so let's jump in on to self-publishing versus traditional publishing. So as you probably know, this course focuses heavily on self-publishing. Self-publishing is totally the way of the future. The old school traditional model is slowly dying and self-publishing is becoming more accessible to authors and more at the forefront of the publishing world. Just to give you an overview of both models of publishing, let's talk about some of the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing beginning with traditional publishing. So with traditional publishing, one of the pros is that your publisher will handle all of your upfront costs. So that's nice. That's a nice thing. They handle editing, publishing, distribution, and often a bit of PR and marketing, and the costs involved with those things. Of course, it depends on your publisher and how big they are. Traditional publisher could potentially put you in front of a larger audience than you would gain yourself. But now some of the cons are that you really have to pitch your book and wait to get it published. As a first step in getting a traditional publisher, you actually need to first get an agent, and then once you find an agent who is willing to take your book on, your agent works to sell your book or book idea to a publisher, and the whole process could take two to three years. Then once you get a book deal, it's still from there, it takes time to develop your content more and often your publisher will request changes to your manuscript to make it more sellable, so there could be a lot of editing and work you have to do to your book once it's sold. And you can expect that process after getting signed to a publisher to take about a year as well making the whole process close to about four years for most authors. Now I got lucky with my book which is actually the only reason I went that traditional publishing route, I got linked up with an agent kind of in a serendipitous way where I didn't have to really pitch my book too much. And she was able to connect me to a publisher very quickly, really was a unique story and very unheard of for most people that really is going to take a lot of legwork and pitching, and it's going to take a lot of years. So the second con to the traditional publishing route is that you won't have 100% creative control of your book content, your cover, etcetera. There may be exceptions to this, again, depending on the size of your publisher. My publisher because they're small and independent, they gave me a lot of creative control which is also very rare. But usually when working with a traditional publisher, you can expect to give them the reins when it comes to your cover design, your back cover text, and other components of your book. You got to remember that. Their motive is really to sell as many copies of your book as possible, and so they're going to make your book what they believe it to be as marketable as possible. So you give up some of your control there. Another con to traditional publishing and this one usually surprises people is that when you go with a traditional publisher, you're still responsible for most of your PR and marketing. So as I said, they might do some but most people assume that one of the incentives for going the traditional publishing route is that they take care of all of this for you, but it's just not the way it goes. In fact, most publishers, these days and considering whether or not to take your book on, care more about how big your following is than they care about the quality of your writing. Again, their incentive is to sell as many books as possible. So you're going to be much more attractive to a traditional publisher, as an author, if you have an already established presence, like on social media. In order to secure my book deal, I had to actually create this case for my publisher to convince them that I had connections and that I'd be able to reach an audience because I didn't have a very large following at the time. They asked for a list of influencers and at the time I didn't know what that was, so I said, "What's an influencer?" Basically, an influencer is a person in your social network who has an established platform who might be willing to help you promote your book in some way whether they use their social media channels to promote you or maybe they'll write the foreword to your book or a review that you can put on your book jacket. So I was lucky enough at the time to have a couple of connections, some YouTube celebrity friends that were able to... I was able to build a case around those people, and they ended up legitimately helping me promote my book. And I could have used them if I self-published, you know, I didn't need to have a publisher to do that but not everybody has connections like that and even having ones that were pretty good, I still had to create this case just to get a book deal, and I did not get any money in advance. So some authors who you see actually that are New York Times bestsellers who have gone with traditional publishers have actually paid for their own PR person to get that New York Times bestseller status. Their publishing company did not do that for them. Now some publishing companies may pay for marketing and PR, like if you're a celebrity or if you're a well-known author who's already had success. But they're not likely to invest their PR dollars in your book if you're an up and coming author and not a lot of people know who you are. And then lastly, the last con here is that you're going to earn a smaller percentage of sales for each book sold when you go with a traditional publisher versus a self-publisher. When you self-publish, you more or less get to keep 100% of your earnings minus your printing costs, but when you go with a traditional publisher, your publisher gets to keep a pretty large percentage, and then you'll usually have to pay your agent a percentage as well. So while you may sell a greater volume of books, you will make less of a profit on each book sold. So those are kinds of the pros and cons of traditional publishing. And now let's take a look at self-publishing and talk about some of those pros and cons. So with self-publishing, the first pro is that you have complete control over your content, you can change it at any time, you get to decide, "Hey, I love this section or I don't love this section, and I want to tweak it, or I want a new cover," you can change those things at any time. You get to make those decisions for yourself, and you also have control over the publishing deed. So, you know, this course is about six months long. And the goal, if you're interested in entering the top 10 author contest, the goal is to get your book published by the end of the course. So you have control over that, you set your own date. With self-publishing, you keep 100% of the profits. So you basically keep all of your royalties, nobody to pay out of that except for the printing costs. With the publishers, we'll introduce you to their systems or setup a little differently in terms of when and how you get paid but in either case your profits belong to you. Now some of the cons of self-publishing. Well, unlike traditional publishing, when you publish your own book, you're responsible for fronting all of the upfront costs, so everything from editing to any design work you might need, etcetera. But that's if you choose to hire and pay for these services and not everybody does. The great thing is that since you're responsible for it... You get to decide that and there are a lot of amazing books that we've seen come through this course where the authors have literally spent $0, they've taken a complete do-it-yourself approach which we teach in the course for those of you who want to just publish for without investing any money in these extra services. So you get to decide and how much money if you want to invest in your book. And while it's listed here as a con, it's also kind of a pro because a lot of people think that it's going to cost thousands and thousands of dollars to put out a book on your own, and it really doesn't have to with tools and technology that are available these days and the resources at our fingertips. Okay, so the next thing is that you are responsible for your own PR and marketing again, but, like I said, it's the same deal with traditional publishing, you're responsible for it either way. So this is not necessarily a con that is just related to self-publishing, it's kind of a con, I guess, of both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Either way, these days, you're going to be responsible for creating your own platform as an author and for marketing your book yourself. Don't worry, we'll teach you all about how to do PR for your book later in the course. We have some really great content on that. But you're doing yourself a favor if you start building that audience now anyway that you can. One last note about self-publishing is I just want to mention again that it really is the way of the future. So there was a time, not even that long ago, when self-publishing was a lot harder to do. And now it's so incredibly easy to do and more publishers are actually creating self-publishing arms in their publishing companies because they know that it's the direction that publishing is moving in. They know that old school publishing models are being phased out, and they know that they need to do something different. So the industry is constantly evolving. Self-publishing has actually improved a lot even in the last five years, distribution reach that was previously reserved for large-trade publishers is now available to self-published authors who have written only one title and published it themselves. So that's real cool. Something else I want to tell you is that if you're someone who really wants to get picked up by a publisher, and you have that as a goal by a traditional publisher, it doesn't mean that if you self-publish first that you can't still get picked up by a mainstream publisher later. In fact, in some cases, it can actually work in your favor to self-publish a book first to get it to be successful, and then once your book does really well, you've already demonstrated that people are interested in your content and you know how to market yourself, and in many cases, more likely, at that point to get picked up by a mainstream publisher. So it's a way of really demonstrating what you have to offer, and it can make publishers more likely to be willing to take a chance on you. So it doesn't have to be one or the other. All of that said, we here at Integrative Nutrition and in the book course here, we recommend going the self-publishing route, at least to begin with, it's the fastest route to gaining credibility, attracting opportunities, and getting your message out there. So for these reasons, we teach self-publishing in this course. And you'll see it even more as the process evolves I think why it's so apparent that self-publishing is truly an amazing opportunity for people to put themselves out there in a really big way. All right, so moving on. As far as self-publishing companies go, there are so many different options available right now, which is great, but our job is to make the process really simple for you. And so we've selected two companies to recommend to you. Those companies are Kindle Direct Publishing also known as KDP, and IngramSpark. Now these are the companies we've had the most success with, we find them to be easy to use, they offer a lot in terms of services and distribution, and they offer pretty solid customer support. But before I get into telling you more about KDP and IngramSpark, I want to first explain some different options offered by self-publishing companies and what these options entail. There are different types of publishers. There is print-on-demand publishers, which basically means that when a print copy of your book is ordered, it's printed to fill that order, versus bulk publishing, where bulk copies of your book are printed in advance and then considered inventory. So the upside of the print-on-demand model is that you're never going to be stuck with a garage full of hundreds or thousands of copies of your book that didn't sell. You don't have to keep any inventory, you get books printed to meet the demand that's there, and the quality is usually very good. So print-on-demand publishing is definitely what we recommend as the way to go but just to give you the information, so you have it, bulk publishing is more of the old school model where you'd buy 1,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 copies of your book at a really low rate, and then you have them sitting in your house, and you sell them at different events and try to get them sold through Amazon and Barnes & Noble and outlets like that. It's really not an effective way to do it. And technology, again, thanks to technology, the print-on-demand model is now something that exists. So the next item here is pre-pay deals. You may come across what's known as pre-pay deals if you've researched any self-publishing companies on your own. These are just deals where someone will say, "We'll put out your book for you, it's X amount of dollars." Then you get the books and some various opportunities that come as part of the package in most cases. But you usually end up buying your books from the company, and we don't really recommend doing a pre-pay deal. But if you do choose to work with a company other than KDP or IngramSpark, we do just encourage you to remember that customer service is key, it's important that you go with a company that offers solid support for you throughout the process. It's also important to read the fine prints before signing any contracts or agreements. You want to make sure you have all your details and that you know what to expect. Now with that said, the number one self-publishing platform we recommend working with is Kindle Direct Publishing, also known as KDP. Now KDP started out as Amazon's own Kindle publishing platform for self-published authors, enabling authors to publish Kindle editions direct to Amazon's websites all over the world. But now KDP offers the option to publish paperback books as well. So previously, for the Launch Your Dream Book students, we always recommended the company CreateSpace, which was kind of KDP sister company also owned by Amazon. But what happened was CreateSpace is now being dissolved and Amazon is now merging the CreateSpace services with KDP so that authors can just log in to one portal and that they can have their e-books and their print books in one place, so it makes sense. Customers... Yeah, in the past, customers would have to open an account with each company and now it's all in one place. So, yeah, KDP is basically the one stop shop now for authors to house both their print books and e-books in one place. When you publish with KDP, you can expect the following. The print-on-demand model available for print books, paperback books, it's low cost per book to publish. So you essentially are just paying for the printing costs which could be as low as $2 or $3 per copy if you're publishing a very basic paperback book with only text in the interior. So, for example, if you want to order 100 books to take with you to speaking events, etcetera, and your book costs $3 per copy to print, you pay $300 for 100 books, plus shipping, and then if you can sell your book for $15 each, you've made a profit of more than $4,000. That's pretty good. So with your book costing so little, you can also afford to give copies away to potential speaking outlets, to people who can help promote you, or to people who might be willing to write you reviews. With KDP, you can change your book at any time, you can make edits as needed. One of the best features of KDP is that you can publish your paperback book and an e-book version of your book all in one platform and easily track sales in one place, as I mentioned. And the process for uploading your book is very easy. It will go live shortly after you enter in all the components and information. Sometimes, it takes just about a day. So another great thing here is that they offer some do-it-yourself tools, like a cover creator tool, etcetera. We'll have more information on that later. And they'll also give you a free KDP ISBN number if you choose to go the free route with the ISBN number. There are some limitations to going with a free ISBN number which we'll cover later as well, but it is cool that they offer that for those of you who are trying to spend nothing on your book. And with KDP, you also have the option to enable expanded distribution, meaning, you can make your book available to other online retailers outside of Amazon if you select to do so. Now again, there are some limitations to KDP's expanded distribution, which we'll also have some more information on later. But overall, KDP is a great and wonderful outlet that gives you complete control. One thing to keep in mind with KDP is that it is paperback and e-book only. So if you have your heart set on publishing a hardcover book, you may want to go with the other self-publishing company we recommend IngramSpark. But I do want to say that we recommend for your first book to keep your publishing and your printing cost as low as possible. So we recommend staying away from hard covers and full color interiors as this will increase your printing costs pretty substantially. But I also want to let you know that we've had some really beautiful hardcover cookbooks and children's books come through the course over the years, and it's been really cool to see those. It's just that the printing costs for books like that it just makes you have to price your books so much higher. And the reason we recommend going with the softcover black and white version of your book now is because you can always upgrade it down the line or create a specialized version later and charge people more for it. We just feel it's important to make your book accessible to the people who need the information inside, and you want to make sure that you're able to make money off of your first book without the price being too astronomically high. So there are pricing calculators and such, you can use to get a better estimate of what your book will cost to print based on the size, the number of pages, and whether or not you choose to add color to the interior. We'll provide the links to these resources so that you can start to play around with those numbers and whatnot to help you make those decisions. But yeah, I'm not saying don't print a hardcover, I'm just saying get your information first to see if that's worth it. I do realize that some cookbooks and children's books do work a lot better as hardcover. So you'll get your information, and you'll make an informed decision for yourself. Some other things to mention here is that there is a handout in this module that will give you information on setting up a KDP account. We do encourage you to get in there now and start exploring, but don't fret if you're still in the writing phase of your book, we don't expect you to actually do anything yet. With the publishing phase, we just want you to start getting acquainted with your options. So this handout also includes some helpful links for getting started. In upcoming modules, we're going to teach you all about design, interior design, cover design, etcetera, to help you if you decide to hire freelancers for these services or do it yourself, so plenty of resources to come. For now, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with KDP and IngramSpark and keep writing. So IngramSpark is one of the largest book and e-book distribution companies in the world. They reach thousands of retailers and libraries so because they're an international printing company, IngramSpark might be more appealing to our international students. So I'll break it down for you right now. You probably won't be considering IngramSpark unless you're writing a hardcover book or unless you're an international student. IngramSpark like KDP is a print-on-demand company, meaning, your books are printed as they are ordered, and they also have a low cost per book and to publish. So similar to KDP, you can change your book at any time, which is majorly awesome. IngramSpark might take a little bit longer for that just so you know, but with IngramSpark, you can publish a paperback version of your book, a hardcover, and an e-book all in one platform. IngramSpark also offers expanded distribution which is a little different from the expanded distribution that KDP offers. So what's good about it? What's good about IngramSpark? Well, their distribution network is enormous, over 39,000 retailers and libraries are supplied by Ingram. Having your title on their catalog makes it available to buy at a lot of places all over the world, and the print quality is very good. What's not so good about IngramSpark is that it takes a little longer. So once you have approved a title for distribution, it takes 15 days or so to go live on retailer websites, and they tend to be a bit slower than KDP when it comes to making changes to your book, and their platform tends to be a bit more difficult to use. So we're introducing IngramSpark here as an option, mainly just, like I said, if you insist on publishing a hardcover book or if you're an international student, but we really recommend publishing a paperback as your first book, to repeat myself again because I just want to emphasize that, to keep your publishing costs as low as possible. And we tend to recommend KDP over IngramSpark for this reason. We have had students use IngramSpark and like them, and we've had students use them and not like them. We're just all about making your first book as simple and easy as possible. Now if you're curious to learn more about e-books, we have a handout in this module that will provide more information and explain more about those. And that's about it for today. I hope you're feeling a little more informed when it comes to the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing, and that you're feeling somewhat acquainted with KDP and IngramSpark and what they have to offer. I do want to let you know that if you decide to go with another company that's not KDP or IngramSpark, we can't guarantee, unfortunately, being able to fully support you during every phase of the process because it will be different, every self-publisher is different so that's just something to note. So we highly recommend is KDP and IngramSpark, especially KDP because we want to be able to offer you that full support. If you see other publishers online or wherever, you're welcomed to check them out, but we want to support you, and we're recommending the companies that we're recommending for a reason because we feel that they really will and have met our students' needs the best. If you're feeling like you weren't able to grasp every last detail of this lecture, don't worry, it's only meant to be an introduction and there will be plenty more information coming later. You'll find more information and resources even in the handouts in this module, and we'll continue to walk you through each step of the process in modules to come. Remember, that this is a journey, it's a process, right now we're just building the foundation, so stay calm, start looking around, don't feel overwhelmed. Also, don't feel like you have to start doing things right now, just keep focusing on the writing and know that this is just another step in the publishing journey. If you have questions, please connect with us on Facebook. I'm signing off for now. Take care, and we will meet again.

Video Details

Duration: 25 minutes and 27 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Oct 3, 2018

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

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