If you are ‘lucky’ enough to get accepted by a so-called traditional publisher (less than four per-cent of new writers are), then your difficult journey as a writer may be about to become even more bewildering.
Of course, it’s always wonderful to make this breakthrough as a writer and nothing can take away from the moment you receive that dream letter. It is something to be immensely proud of. What follows next, however, can be, and for most usually is, something of an anti-climax.
What authors receive when a traditional publisher buys their book is far from the dream of the unpublished author. The simple, hard reality for many of them is they receive little, or nothing at all.
They may get an advance (against royalties, which are usually less than 10%), but the amount you receive for a lot of hard work (usually several months or even years work) often works out at pennies per hour: not the kind of return on investment a hard working writer deserves.
And it gets worse. The sales and marketing support you thought you would receive, is negligible (the author of this article spent several frustrating years chasing his then publisher (one of the most well known in the whole world) to do more to promote his books). And then, even more disheartening, are the royalties that follow; the scraps after the publisher has taken the lion’s share (usually 92.5 % on a paperback).
Of course, most writers never even get to the stage where they can be shortchanged in such a shocking way.
Because most traditional publishers demand you get an agent before they will even look at your work, and it’s arguably more difficult to get a decent agent than to get accepted by a traditional publisher: a circle of frustration.
Yes, it can be incredibly frustrating indeed having your beloved book (months or years of hard work) rejected by traditional publishers, or not even given a chance to be rejected.
And so… what happens next, for a writer beset by despondency, is that people will tell you that what you really need to do is self-publish: take the other (well-travelled) road to the land of (Amazon KDP) dreams; (they don’t mention that what you are about to do is cast your work, like a pebble, into a vast ocean of work).
Despite (Amazon) royalty rates of 70%, I think self-publishing is a terrible idea for serious fiction writers. For starters, if you self-publish your book, you are not going to be writing for a living. You are going to be marketing for a living. Self-published authors should expect to spend only 10% of their time writing and 90% of their time marketing.
Secondly, good writers need even better editors. They need brilliant cover designers. They need imaginative marketers and well-connected publicists. All these things that are not provided by Amazon.
Of course, one can publish for ‘free’ on Amazon, but you usually get what you pay for. Paying some cheap freelance £25 or knocking up a DIY design on Canva will not result in a distinctive, professional-looking cover. And don’t get me started on the value of good editors, copyeditors, and proof-readers; they are the difference between professional and amateur books.
Editing, proofreading, cover design, ISBN, printing, publishing, and marketing costs money. Why not do it all under one roof with a ‘one stop shop’ to save time, energy, and risk, instead of searching for separate service providers?
At Foreshore Publishing we do all this and more and try to make it as easy as possible for good writers to get good novels into print and into bookshops. We offer instalments to help spread the cost and we even offer a full refund if your book is not physically on shelves in bookstores within 12 months.
We also have the same, if not greater reach than traditional publishers and agents. With access to proper distribution networks, we can get physical books into real bookshops. We can also represent you at the major book fairs and sell your books to international markets.
For those who value their work, who want to go beyond Amazon KDP, get into bookstores and build fanbases, and would rather write novels than social media posts, self-publishing is not the answer.
Contact us today and chat about how we can help you to make a positive impact as an author. 0800 099 6689 or email@example.com.