Self-publishing Vs. Co-publishing?

By: William Dorich

Self-publishing transforms a writer into an instant publishing technician. This carries the risks of simple mistakes costing thousands of dollars.

Financial risk is the main reason most publishers will not produce new titles. Publishing, like other businesses is based on profit. Some authors are willing to take the risks of financing the production of their books and do the marketing and distribution themselves. This is usually referred to as "Vanity Press." I have designed, produced and published over 100 titles in both Self and co-publishing arrangements and self-published 5 books of my own, learning from the school of hard knocks.

Self-Publishing carries the greatest risk but also the most financial reward. Co-publishing removes those financial risks and mistakes that can be costly, therefore, the author needs to approach co-publishing understanding that they will share in the profits which are negotiable and are about a 60%-40% split with the author receiving the larger portion.

Most of the risk can be eliminated by considering co-publishing as the best option for authors who are willing to make a financial commitment and do the extra leg work on their title and to join forces with publishing professionals who will hand-hold them through the entire publishing process. Co-publishing is a more harmonious relationship in which the author participates in all of the decision-making.

The Co-publisher's Responsibilities

The co-publisher has the experience and publishing background they are willing to share in exchange for a portion of the profits generated by your title. These professionals typically oversee supervision of copy editing, book and cover design, book packaging, printing, internet marketing, publicity, mailing and distribution-all of the important aspects that make a book a success.

Author's Responsibilities

The first question you need to ask yourself... is your decision merely ego? If that is the case there are numerous self-publishing websites that will produce a few hundred books for $500.00 and you can pass them out to your friends and relatives.

But if you are seriously wanting to co-publish and market your title the first thing you need to do is concentrate on producing a clean double-spaced manuscript and a financial investment in the book.

The author needs to assist in defining his or her market. A list of names of experts in your field or subject who can be helpful in promoting your book is an asset. The author should determine interest groups or organizations where guest appearances can be made. A book in print opens doors that could not be opened any other way. A book can get you on talk radio and television. Researching these contacts is vital for the success of your book. As a result of a book in print, there are many situations where you can be called upon as an expert in your field. An English language version of your book leads to foreign translation rights.

I have found that each book succeeds to the degree of effort the author puts forth on his or her own behalf. Co-publishing means working in tandem, not just subsidizing production.

For more information about Self or Co-publishing visit: www.gmbooks.com, click on Do You Want to Publish...

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