By Kelsey Maldonado, Publishing Assistant
Aspiring authors all dream of the perfect book deal with a well-known company that values their input and gets everything right, from the cover to the profit, but this may not be the reality of publishing. The publishing process is long and requires hard work and knowledge of the industry—but it doesn’t have to be unrewarding. Traditional and self-publishing are the most well-known choices in the industry, and each have their own pros and cons. Often, authors can be left disappointed by the lack of control they have over a book they spent years writing and rewriting. They are assisted by a team of professionals whose goal is optimizing sales of the book, sometimes at the expense of what the author envisioned. Traditional publishing companies are typically considered endgame for most aspiring authors, but the competition is tough, and authors may not get what they actually want: partnership.
In traditional publishing, an author may use a literary agent who will work to sell their book to a company that takes over the publishing process. An author may have little to no say in crucial elements of the book, such as the title, cover, editing, and marketing. The author has to trust that the designers and editors employed by the company understand and love the book the way the author does. This can be a fulfilling and successful experience for some—after all, traditional publishing is still thriving—but others may be more jaded towards this process if their book never sold or their publishers refused to listen. Even traditional publishing is lacking in some areas. Authors who are traditionally published often market their own book on social media platforms, despite the marketing they already received through their company or simply out of necessity. Their company may not have provided enough marketing to make their book stand out among the masses or chosen an angle that just doesn’t work. Marketing can make or break a book, particularly a debut. Traditional companies are also focused on books that they know will have a large audience, leading to more selectivity concerning submissions. Authors can go through hundreds of rejections before being accepted, if it happens.
Author partnerships with publishers are becoming more and more desirable as aspiring authors explore their options. No longer do they have to acquire agents to sell their books—they can take control and sell it themselves. Partnerships with publishers means that the author works with the publisher in order to achieve all the goals the author has in mind. The author can trust the publisher with their book because they have established a relationship based on cooperation and collaboration. Working with a publisher has the benefit of working with experienced professionals, who understand the industry and are willing to listen to what a first-time author wants and needs for their book. A first-time author may not be familiar with the publishing industry or has experienced a lack of success in submitting to big traditional publishing companies. Partnering with a publisher who is willing to listen and aid a writer on their journey to becoming an author can make all the difference.
A good company will offer the best of both worlds, allowing the author to have input in the publishing process while providing the expertise of professionals. They might still be selective in what they accept, but the competition won’t be as tight due to the company’s initiative in taking risks on first-time authors and niche books. The author can even have a say in the cover and title, the first things potential readers will see and one of the most important. A key part of a book deal is the contract. This dictates everything about the book, from the rights to the royalties, and an unexperienced author may not understand what they’ve signed away. A publisher that values partnership won’t try to snatch away the author’s rights to their own book, or their ability to write for anyone else. There also won’t be any concern over royalties. In an author-publisher partnership, the author won’t owe the publisher any more than what they pay for if they self-publish, and they certainly won’t owe any royalties on future books. Contracts can be tricky, but in a partnership, the publisher cooperates with the author so that the author understands the contract and controls what they want to. Negotiation is essential to author-publisher partnerships and leaves both parties satisfied with the outcome. An author has to rely on professionals to get their book in top shape to be sold and make a profit, but who knows and loves the book more than the author themselves? A collaboration between author and publisher is the future of publishing and may be the solution to the competition and lack of control present in traditional publishing. There are hybrid publishing companies that offer a mixture of the best elements from both traditional and self-publishing. In a hybrid company, the author may choose to self-publish through a company that offers publishing packages and higher royalties than traditional publishing. Or, the author may choose to publish traditionally with a team of experienced individuals. In either case, the author and the publisher collaborate to choose the best options for the book while keeping the author’s desires in mind.
At Simply Inspired Words Publishing, authors can choose between customizable self-publishing packages or take their chances with traditional publishing and submit their novel. We value author-publisher partnerships in order to build a mutually beneficial relationship where the author can customize their publishing experience. A unique feature of Simply Inspired Words’ self-publishing route is that there are no royalties or right retained by the company. Unlike traditional publishing through big companies, authors can keep the rights to their books and not worry about contracts that could prohibit them from writing freely in the worlds they created. Our company is dedicated to aiding indie authors in their publishing journey, not prohibiting it by stifling creativity and freedom. We retain none of the royalties earned by the author through self-publishing, meaning the author only pays for the services in their customized package and receives all the profit. Our customizable packages mean authors only pay for what they want. They won’t be saddled with any extra features, and they will know exactly what they’re paying for. The company works with the author to create a package that covers all the design, marketing, and author branding that is needed. Simply Inspired Words offers traditional publishing for those who want to experience the benefits of a good book deal with a team who understands what authors want and is willing to take input on the publishing process—with the benefit of higher royalties than other companies. Indie companies are more willing to take risks on first-time authors to promote the success of both author and company. At Simply Inspired Words, we offer a fulfilling and successful experience by building a partnership with our authors and collaborating to ensure satisfaction for both parties.