The cost of copyright is definitely reasonable and there are a few steps to it but it’s not hard to do. The copyright office link is here, if you want to go ahead and copyright your work.
Some really good points from Books Go Social personality Elisabeth Schaffalitzky (say that five times fast!) about publishing for those who have yet to publish and even for an established author. (Link below) They polled their author readers and got these 5 things authors wish they knew before they published the first time.
(Note that professional editing is #1)
So you know you want to succeed as a writer. You have a story to tell, you think you’re good at it, and you think other people would agree! However, the will and the motivation to write aren’t enough. …
Keep in mind, what is trending now might or might not be something you want to look at writing. It takes time to get a book out, a good book – well written, well edited, well designed and proofed. And self-pub authors in particular need to take that time. Sometimes you only get one chance with a reader.
So unless you’ve got the inside scoop on what will be the next big thing in writing, it’s usually best to stick to writing what you are passionate about.
But that is just my opinion. 🙂
The rise of Millennial nostalgia and graphic novels, the decline of political tell-alls and publisher-driven marketing: all of this and more in 2019 trends.
I agree with this writer, we spend a lot of time talking about how to get published and not enough time about what to do after you sign a contract with a book publisher.
This author got into hot water thinking she had made it; she signed with one of the big 5 publishers and then another publisher. She got a nice, big advance and was working hard on her craft. What is so bad about that? I’d be excited too. I’d have thought I’d made it too! But she tells us what happened next.
Are these reasons to avoid traditional publishing. Mostly, I’d say no. But it does help you understand how the traditional book world works, and if you end up signing a contract that is associated with an any kind of an advance, you need to know what to expect and not expect from that publisher or agent going forward.
The decision to pursue self-publishing over traditional publish still is mostly about your goals, your time, and your budget. But it is good to know what you’re getting into when you sign the dotted line!
Dean Wesley Smith really doesn’t like traditional publishing (see link below). I’m not as dead set against it as Dean. I think it might be right for certain people – not for me, mind you – most of the time.
I have tried to find an agent for my middle grade novel series (my Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventures) to try and traditionally publish, to get greater access to the school market. But it has gotten into 3 schools anyway, through people I know who are middle grade teachers and one teacher who found me at a book sale and really liked my book. So it is still possible to get into schools, but it’s not easy.
In general, however, I find I like the creative control – of the writing, of the cover, of the interior design (which is why I help others with these tasks as well 🙂 )- and I like the control of when it gets out there and how much I am selling it for (besides a significant royalty over traditional publishing). Of course, that means me taking on the risks – paying for editing, taking the time to find out what the process is and how best to do it, keeping abreast of the book business…
Since most of the time with a traditional publisher you have to do most of the marketing anyway, why give them rights and lose the control, and wait and wait for the book to come out and make changes to it that you may or may not agree with and… Well, you get the point.
But for some who don’t have any interest in the process, can be patient, and don’t want to put any money into the game, or want to get to a difficult market – such as my example of getting into schools – it might be the way to go.
The point is to know what you’re getting into with either direction.
Christopher of the Story Reading Ape has passed along a nice post by Vian De Bod about traditional publishing.
De Bod doesn’t mention a couple very important points with traditional publishing. You still need to work with an editor before you try and sell you manuscript (ms) to an agent or publishing house. As you probably know, there is A LOT of competition out there, so your ms has to be the best it can be before you even think about selling it. That mean hiring an editor (after you’ve had your beta readers have a crack at it, of course.)
And De Bod suggests you need an agent. I agree. It’s really the only way to get your book noticed. But how to find an agent?
That’s not an easy thing. You can get the “Writer’s Marketplace” out of the library and find agents that way (always going to their website to get the latest information on submission requirements). But I have an even better way!
I would suggest finding writer’s conferences in your area that have agents that are taking pitches. Getting to talk to a real agent is the best way to get in the door. Then practice, practice, practice your pitch. I’m sure if you googled “pitching to a book agent” you’ll get lots of advice. And sometimes those writer’s conferences will give you workshops on just that topic. I know my local conference will.
I am speaking at such a confernece – The Wisconsin Writers’ Institute – in April 12-15, Madison, WI.
I’m speaking on two self-publishing panels dealing with self-publishing with three other wonderful self-published authors (Valerie Biel, Kimberli Bindschatel, Ann Voss Peterson). There will be agents at this conference and lots of information about “the Pathway to Publication,” including traditional publishing.
Conferences are also a great way to connect with other authors, maybe even some that already have agents. Ask around. Maybe their agent would be willing to take a look at your ms.
Graeme Shimmin has written a great post about how exactly a publishing contract works and what it means. I’d definitely recommend you give it a read!