The road to publishing is often confusing.
There are numerous publishing paths and eBooks have added some loops. However, everything comes down to three basic models.
Manuscript is accepted by publisher (directly or with an agent’s help) and author is paid royalties on the sale of the book. Publisher often retains many of the rights to the book, such as foreign, paperback, or movie rights. Publisher does some marketing and author is also expected to market his or her book. Publisher owns the ISBN.
Author owns the ISBN, the publishing company, and controls all rights. Author occasionally farms out individual aspects of book production such as book designing and formatting. Author selects printer and acquires distributor. Author does all marketing.
Subsidy or Vanity Publishing
Author pays a servicing company to package, print, and distribute his or her book. Company owns the ISBN. Author pays a fee for marketing or does it all. Subsidy publishers are not true publishing companies. Examples - Lulu, BookSurge, Publish America, Trafford, IUniverse, AuthorHouse, Taft, etc.
For more information on subsidy publishing: Aeonix
If you’re still confused, here’s an easy checklist:
Do I own my book’s ISBN?
Yes - I am self-published
No - go to next question
Did I pay to have my book published?
Yes - I am subsidy published
No - I am traditionally published
There are always variables. I know one traditional publisher who does require her authors to foot part of the bill and they receive 100% in royalties until they recoup their investment. (She also screens her submissions like any other traditional publisher.) Is that still traditional publishing? One can also self-publish with the help of another small publisher by accessing that company’s printer and distributor. Where exactly does that fall?
The publishing industry is such a fascinating place!
It’s pretty darned screwy, too.
I received the Creative Blogger Award from J. Aday Kennedy
- thanks so much!
First the rules:
1: Thank the person who gave you the award and link to them.
2: Add the award to your blog
3: Tell six outrageous lies about yourself and One Truth.
4: Nominate six creative liars... I mean writers and post links to them.
5: Let your nominees know that they have been nominated.
I'm gonna cheat and go with three lies and three nominees!
1 - I am an only child
2 - I've lived in all four time zones of the USA
3 - I've never tasted beef
4 - My guilty pleasure is Shania Twain
Now, I pass this on to: