There are plenty of people who simply enjoy writing. To be an official author, you need to publish your work. If you are concerned about your manuscript and how it might be received, start with small steps. Look for short story contests that can give you feedback and confidence. The more you do anything, the easier it gets through repetition. If you keep submitting short stories, it will become easier to submit a full manuscript.
This topic is very near and dear to Charles (our founder) because he went down this road. He decided to build Blue Handle Publishing alongside the new Book Puma Services Platform in response to this stressful process.
There are many places to access information on how to self-publish or how to do it. There are small groups on social media sites such as Facebook as well as videos on Youtube. The problem goes back to the lack of a centralized place to find information and a customer service platform. If you need help, just even a little bit, maybe a few hours worth, it can be difficult to find. You can find gig work, but where is the company to stand up?
Traditional publishing makes up for around an estimated 80% of book sales each year, while only an estimated 3% of titles are traditionally published. However, many books are still successful without being traditionally published. The major traditional publishers (also known as the Big 5) are Penguin/Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster.
Another form of publishing in the traditional sense are small presses.They stay true to many of the practices of larger publishers but, to put it bluntly, have not been bought out yet. Blue Handle Publishing is currently a small press. Because it’s a smaller company, it naturally establishes more of a partnership between author and publisher, the interaction between author and publisher holding more of a presence than with a larger publisher. If that’s something you seek, working with a small press may be a good option to consider versus simply selling your manuscript to a Big 5 in hopes of becoming a famous author.
Let’s first start by recognizing something about Hybrid Publishing, and it used to be called Vanity publishing. Though people don’t like the name “Vanity,” it is where it began. The idea of publishing for yourself is a form of vanity. The industry had become filled with some companies preying on naïve authors, and many bad cases arose. To fix the image, the term HYBRID was born.
Hybrid publishing is like hiring a consultant to help you “self-publish.” There are some options where you share royalties because they feel they can add funds (marketing) to your book. As the author, you will always spend money in this process, as you are paying them to help you do a job. It’s like hiring a professional painter for your house. You can paint a wall, but will it come out as nice or be done as efficiently?
Book Publishing is about the preparation and distribution of a written work. First and foremost you need to write the book. After it’s written, you need to find a way to put it out in the world for people to read, either through self-publishing, hybrid publishing or traditional publishing. This will allow stores and libraries to order it for sale or use.
It’s very important to choose your path wisely and remember that taking your time is a good idea. Even the best authors can take years to shop a manuscript in the industry. Challenges exist if you’re new to the scene and lack the real understanding of how slow the pace can be. Blue Handle Publishing aims to help with the entry barriers to the publishing industry and empower authors.