I Don't Need a Publisher...Do I?

You’ve written a novel and now are poised to take the next step, getting your work published. Decades ago, the path to being a published author was pretty straightforward. You bundled up your manuscript and sent it off to either a literary agent or publishing house (for argument’s sake, we will assume it’s been edited and refined to the best it can be). You then checked the mail daily for a return reply, usually waiting months for a reply. For the vast majority of aspiring authors, most responses – if you even got one – were polite ‘thanks but no thanks’ letters. Few were among the fortunate, having their talent recognized, and their work accepted for publication.


The process towards publication was long and one-sided, with the publisher controlling everything. More often than not, it wasn’t financially rewarding, with small advances and even smaller royalties offered to first-time authors.
A lot has changed within the publishing industry over the last few decades. More than ever before, authors are finding creative ways to get their work published and to market. Traditional publishing houses still exist and appear to be doing very well. However, the emergence of publishing innovations (vanity press; eBooks) and additional distribution methods erode their stranglehold on the publishing industry.


There is no denying that the advent of eCommerce platforms such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble have helped develop the self-publishing industry. Authors who do not find an avenue for their work through traditional publishing houses and those who choose not to work with traditional publishing houses are offering their work to the public online. Add to this the growing number of eBook publishers, online publishers and user-generated sites. It is no wonder the self-publishing industry is growing, with no end, or ceiling, insight.


This begs the question: Given the ability to self-publish, does an author need a publisher? The short answer is no. An author can write something one day and post it for sale the next day. It is that easy.


But is that right thing to do? Just because you write something and post it, that doesn’t mean it will sell, and here I assume you want to sell your work. Maybe the question should be reframed to be: Does an author need a traditional publisher? The short answer again is no. The expanded answer is, as an author who wants to sell your work, you should consider working with an online publisher.


Online publishers perform most of the services traditional publishers offer to get your work seen and ideally sold. Several of these services, taken on by the self-published author, can be costly. Cover design, editing and formatting alone can cost as much as, or more than, what a first-time author may earn through book sales.


Of equal importance is distribution and marketing support. Most self-published authors tend to place their book exclusively with Amazon, making the eCommerce giant their sole means of distribution and marketing. Yet most publishers believe a wider, more diverse distribution model is preferred. Publishers can also guide the author when it comes to marketing, knowing where, when, and what needs to be done to ensure maximum exposure.
Online Publishing companies such as Nonia Publishing are a bridge between traditional publishers and self-publishing. They offer no-cost in-house services first-time authors need (jacket design, editing, marketing support) while still offering the flexibility, author control and input self-publishing presents while paying out higher royalties than the traditional publishing houses.


Next time you ask yourself ‘Do I need a publisher?’, ask yourself what makes more sense: taking on the expense of jacket design and editing, and taking time out of writing to format, upload and distribute your work across multiple distribution platforms, or working with an online publisher who will take care of these things for you, getting your work to market faster so you can receive a return on your work sooner, and more time to start the next project.
The answers seem relatively easy now, doesn’t it?


#Nonia Publishing; #self publishing; publishing; #fist time author; #ebook