As a publishing agency, we often come across authors who express both surprise and delight about how smooth and profitable publishing a book was.
We have met authors who have been pitching book proposals to numerous agents without success for years. Then they get on board with us and get their book published within 6 months max and also start to see ROI from day 1 itself.
We also come across frustrated authors who feel that traditional publishers are failing to meet their outcome brief on a daily basis.
So, we wanted to open their eyes to the realities of traditional publishing and share with them, why it is losing charm among the authorpreneurs.
Why Traditional Publishing is NOT all that it is hyped to be –
Entering traditional publishing is tantamount to playing a game that is rigged against you at all stages. Apart from the time and difficulty involved in just getting face to face with a publisher, authors often have to suffer creatively and commercially when they go down the traditional route.
Here are 10 eye-opening facts that will help you look beyond the lies and smokescreen of traditional publishing
1. Authors are on a lonely journey – Being an author with a traditional publisher is tantamount to being on your own. They don’t sell your book, market your book, promote your book or even consider your larger outcome expectations. Instead, they rely on you and your contacts to take the onus of selling the book. In fact, you are under contract work for them – instead of them working with you to help you realize your writing dreams.
2.Failure to see the potential – If you want to write a book and launch your brand, good luck finding a traditional publisher! We say this because traditional publishers want to work only with established names or people with a ready market. They are not interested in building a market or carving a niche to take personal and business brands forward. That adventure is not exactly on the cards. All they care about is how big is your mailing list, how big is your social media following and how many contacts you have.
3. A rigged game – For the longest time, traditional publishers have rigged the game against the authors. The system, right from idea to publishing and promotion is such that authors hold very little bargaining power or maneuvering space in the publishing process. Additionally, traditional publishers have essentially rigged the game in their favor when it comes to author earnings – raking in the large part of moolah in return for the lure of an advance.
4.They are playing catch-up – Traditional publishers are playing catch-up with the changing realities of the publishing world. In fact, they are decades behind implementing current day business practices of other industries. First and foremost is the digital revolution – they are still struggling to establish their authority in the Ebook and Audiobook markets. Secondly, they have failed to recognize the rise of non-traditional writers and their reader bases.Finally, they are yet to wake up to the new reality of books becoming a powerful branding tool.
5.A rigid system – The processes and packages across different categories are usually set in traditional publishing and leave little room for customization. Hence, they fail to offer a tailor-made publishing, promotion, costing and profit sharing options across diverse clients. This lack of customization also results in failure to design a product that serves larger business and branding aspirations.
6.No responsibility for book promotion – Even when you publish with biggest names in the traditional publishing industry, the sad reality is that your book’s promotion depends solely on you. Traditional publishers still expect the authors to take the lead in book promotion by leveraging their own contact – whether it is in print, tv or social media.
7.Inordinate Delays – Getting a book published through a traditional publisher will take anywhere between 18 to 24 months. That too is after your story idea/book proposal has been accepted. Before that, you may have to connect with several agents and pitch them your book proposal, which is again time-consuming. This lengthy wait between writing your book and seeing actual returns makes traditional publishing the worst option for entrepreneurs working under strict timelines. This delay also results in an opportunity cost – in terms of both branding and actual revenue.
8.No additional monetizing opportunities – Traditional publishers do not have the mechanisms to leverage your book’s visibility to create monetizing opportunities for your brand. Their sole focus is book sales and they often fail to recognize and encash on peripheral revenue potential. This lack of focus and systems for monetizing also means that positioning of your book will also be flawed and fail to achieve your long-term revenue goals.
9.Ineffective revenue model – A revenue model that does no favors to the authors is one of the greatest drawbacks of traditional publishing. Even though they play an advance, which feels like an assured income on the surface, traditional publishing comes with costs for the author. For instance, authors typically get only 6% to 10% of the net value as royalty. Also, authors have to typically wait for 90 to 120 days from the day of sale to receive incomes wherein standard waiting period in most of the industries is 30 days.
10.No Creative control – From the layout of the book to blurbs that go on the cover authors have very negligible creative control under traditional publishing. Traditional publishers have standardized formats and often refuse to deviate from those when it comes to cover design, layouts, fonts etc. Further, traditional publishers are often putting commercials over author’s preferences when it comes to the design of the book.
Now that self-publishing has emerged as a viable option for the diverse writers with varied goals, the drawbacks of traditional publishing are coming into sharper focus. Majority of the new age authors are rejecting the disproportionate and inferior deals by traditional publishers. Instead, they are taking the initiative and creative control back into their hands so that they can write the book of their dreams.
To know more about how you can write and publish a Book without compromising on creative control, revenue and outcomes, schedule a free 30-minute call with Authority on Demand – Click Here.