OK,I'm a long way from exhausting all aspects of a traditional publisher--especially a Christian publisher, which has its own peculiarities. But many of you already understand about tradition publishers simply because they HAVE been around a long time. So,if you have any more questions about them ask me in the comment section and I'll tell you what I know.
I feel like I need to move on to alternatives in how to get your book to the reader. I'm guessing traditional publishing houses are thinking about making changes too. The truth is the market (people who buy books)is changing quicker than anyone ever imagined it could.
February of 2011 was the first month that electronic books outsold regular hardhand (I am using this to mean any books you hold in your hand that have print on pages. As far as I know its an original use of the word.) I also heard one woman published one of her books electronically for 99cents. She sold a million copies. Even if she received only 50 cents of the 99, that's half a million. I also heard another woman put five of her our of print books up electronically and made $10,000 in two months. There is no arguing with the idea that electronic books have "arrived."
Now, I will sneak in one more little bit of info about a traditional publisher--they want your e-rights--can you see why? That means they own the electronic rights so they can offer your book electronically to 25,000 sights and you receive only a fraction of the profits--not the sale. So, that's sometimes 10% after costs.
What is their cost to posting your book electronically??? Good question.
When does that contract expire. It is, of course, negotiable, but one publisher was incredulous that I would ask to have the rights EVER. So, what about the old alternative called the vanity press--paying some company to publish your book?
(Also called "Self publishing." I will cover this industry more fully in its own column)
So,let's say you do contract with a publishing company to "publish" your book. What rights do you retain? Well, this varies from company to company, and because of the changing demands and numbers of the readers, this industry has tons of small publishers sprouting all over the world. If you can contract with one to print your book and post your book electronically, that may be a good deal for you but my main concern I have for authors is that we be sure that you retain the electronic rights, because that's where I think the future of publications are going. More on this later.
I'm going to bottom line you right now because many of you want to know what's up with me and how what I'm learning applies to your experience. Her's what I am trying to do just now (and why I have so little time to write on the blog!) I'm reading a book about establishing my OWN PUBLISHING COMPANY! (probably means just what you think it does!)
Yep! I am reading on how to interface with Lightening Source, one of the two Print on Demand (POD) presses in the USA. The other one is owned by Amazon--and yes, they will also work with individual authors to print their books, but their take is higher than Lighten source. The "problem" with LS is that they don't want ot deal with authors, but don't mind if authors become their own publishers--as long as they are professional.
So, long story short, that's what I'm looking into--although, I am not closed to other forms of publishing and am also thinking I could also publish other people's books.
I hope this is exciting news for you. It is for me and I will be filling you in on as much as I can as I go through the ropes. I will also explain the whys, especially if asked. So, hang in there and write me back if you are wondering about some aspect. So many wonderful developments in publishing---and reading!!!