My best advice on publishing: Don’t be in a hurry to have your book published. The first, 2nd, or even 5th draft of your manuscript may not be ready to be published. I know how much you love what you have written, but before rushing to be published, set the book aside for 3 months, and then read it again. Better yet, have someone unfamiliar with your work read it. If you hurry to have a manuscript printed before it is edited and perfected, that book will haunt you for the rest of your writing life. If you don’t believe me, ask several people who self-published and later were traditionally published.
When it comes to publishing, there are 3 main options today.
1. Traditional publishing
2. Subsidy and vanity publishing
3. Self publishing
1. TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING These publishers have been around for years. They were the only way to publish for 100s of years. Most writers would like to be published traditionally, but that takes patience, usually an agent is required, and the process involves months of waiting.
PRO: Totally free. You pay nothing. The result is a quality product. The books are available through major distribution houses. Bookstores and libraries recognize traditional publishers. You and your book have credibility.
CON: Hard to find an agent. Easy to become discouraged. Takes 12-18 months to be published.
2. SUBSIDY AND VANITY PUBLISHING These publishers are clever, saying they do not charge to publish your book, but you WILL pay. Their charges may be called editing fees, publicity fees, or you may be required to buy a certain number of books. A recent subsidy press I investigated required authors to buy 2500 books at $2 a piece. That is $5000 up front. Of course the author will be given the hard sell on how a $2 book can be sold for $5, $7 or $10, but selling 2500 books is very difficult.
PRO: You get to see your book in print. Book will have an ISBN number. Will be listed on Amazon, but this is no big deal, anyone can do this.
CON: It is very expensive. Expect to pay $3000 to $5000 Most do not edit your work, so you may not have a quality product. Bookstores and libraries may shy away from buying the book.
3. SELF PUBLISHING This is a good option for many people. Self Publishing is good for someone who is writing a family history and wants to give copies to family members.
This option is economical, especially if you only want to have E-books published. There are many online services that will help you create an E-book for as little as $300.
If you want a hard copy of your book, another self publishing option is to contact a local printer. A friend of mine did this. She designed her cover, formatted her pages, received a galley proof from the printer, and was able to select how many books she wanted printed. Her book was professionally edited. It is a lovely product.
PRO: Not very expensive. You have total control of the product. May choose to only have E-Book which is very inexpensive to produce.
CON: Book may be full of errors. Usually no editing. Book printed exactly as submitted. May have formatting errors.
As Christian writers, we write to honor God.Should we not offer the best writing? If this means paying for an editor, so be it or waiting to be traditionally published. Don’t rush. God is patient.
Unsure if your agent or publisher is honest and reputable, check out predators and editors. I never contact an agent or publisher, without checking this site to see if there are comments about them. It’s free and very helpful.