It is a belief that book publishing process constitutesfifteen percent book production and eighty five percent marketing and distribution. Even when you have a finished manuscript in hand, your work has just begun. The real challenge isn’t in writing a book (reconsider publishing if you think it is!), it lies in the process of making it reach the right hands.
So, when you introduce your book in the marketplace, you aim to reach a wider audience, earn a name, if not a living, from it. To ensure any of it, you must choose a right platform to launch your book and get started with your writing and publishing career.
To make publishing work to your advantage, here are the some ways by which you can decide the publishing gateway to opt for:
1) What is Your Motivation behind Getting a Book Published?
Identifying the reason behind seeing your name in print can help you put a lot of your actions in perspective. If you have a poetry collection you wish to share with your friends and family and aren’t yet ready to publish for public distribution, then self-publishing is the best option for you.
However, if you are serious writer looking forward to break into the publishing world, you can try your hands at traditional publishing. A little self reflection on this front before you chase literary agents can help you get down to real work in no time.
2) Understanding Your Target Market:
If you are a serious writer working on a novel, a non-fiction or a cookbook, and considering publishing as a career, you must get a head start by concentrating on your target market. Know your target market, explore and discover new ways to access it.
Understanding your target audience- who they are, what they read, where they read it from, what they are comfortable with, how much do they spend on reading or buying books- can help you zero down on a publishing platform that can best market your book.
For instance, if you are writing a tech comic, the best way to reach your potential market is via the e-publishing. Consider self publishing and market your books on kindle, apple bookstore, Google bookstore. You will get the returns way faster than traditional publishing.
3) Available Resources :
Finances and resources involved in publishing is another way to judge the platform that may work for you. While traditional publishing platforms are less expensive, more credible and cater to a wider audience than their self-publishing counterparts, they are harder to reach out to. If you do not have a lifetime to see your name in print, self-publishing is a viable option.
However, self-publishing has its own drawbacks. Also known in the name of vanity publishing or subsidy publishing, it isn’t considered as laudable as traditional publishing. Also, writers have to shell out a lot of money for marketing, and other services like proofreading, editing, book cover designing, among others.
4) Personal and Entrepreneurial skills
If you have Entrepreneurial skills and competency to market your book, you can let go your worries about finding an agent and waiting for the traditional publishing houses to respond to your submissions.
In the digital age today, many good writers are turning to e-publishing and self publishing and are doing extremely well. There is a great potential in self publishing if you have a loyal readership and fan following who swear by your writing talent. You can reach out to your target audience by marketing yourself and your books on digital platforms.
To turn your work of art into a marketable product, turn to blogging and get your book reviewed by your readers, offer print-on-demand services, contact local bookstores in your area and create a distribution system by which you can reach out to a wider audience.
There are many important decisions that go into making of a book as a marketable product. The process begins at the onset- of the very thought of writing a book. Yes, even before you have written a word, you must have a clear conception of your target audience, market, and your publishing platform. It certainly doesn’t imply that you kill your muse and write for market’s sake, it simply means that you are writing to get published; and book publishing in South Africa or elsewhere is a business, a very rough one at that.