There has never been a better time to be an author and seek publication of your latest novel. The internet has leveled the playing field and allows authors to sell books to fans with no geographical limitations. The challenge though is how does you publish your book. There are so many different publishing terms such as: traditional publishing, self-publishing, print-on-demand, independent publishing, small press, indie press, etc. What do they all mean?
This article is going to explain three of these terms: indie press, small press and independent publishing.
Indie Press - this type of company is independent of any of the major publishing conglomerates and generally focus on a particular niche. These companies take the financial risk in the publication of your book. They pay for all the production costs. These costs include the editing, proofing, interior layout and design, cover design and printing. They may also pay the author a small advance, up to about $2500. The author receives a royalty of about 8%. However, the author will not receive any royalty until the advance and all production costs have been repaid to the publisher. The author then assigns all the rights of the book to the publisher.
Small Press - these companies generally publish 10 or fewer titles per year and have annual revenue of less than $50 million. These companies offer traditional contracts to authors just like the major publishers. They also assume all the financial risk of publishing your book and take all the rights to your book as described above in the indie press description.
Independent Publishing - this is one of the most confusing terms. It is often confused with self-publishing as well as traditional publishing through an independent press. It is really a blending of self-publishing and traditional publishing. The author takes all financial risk but retains the books rights and also the bulk of the profits from selling the book. The publisher provides book production expertise which helps the author produce the best possible book. The publisher is responsible for choosing the printer and editing, proofing, interior design and layout and cover design if the author needs these services. As mentioned before, it is the author's responsibility to cover the costs of these services. The author uses the publisher's knowledge, expertise and connections to get these production services professionally done and reasonable prices.
If you choose to use an Indie Press or Small Press, make sure you have an attorney read through the contract to help you understand which rights you retain and which rights you are assigning to the publisher.
You have written a great book. It is now time to publish it and make it available to your fans all over the world.
by Bill Walker
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