Traditional Publisher or Self-Publishing
Sure, I know I can self-publish. But there are a lot benefits to waiting for a traditional publisher. For one, self-publishing doesn’t provide rejection letters. If a book doesn’t sell, a writer has to just sit and wonder why not. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a writer by receiving rejection letters.
Most traditional publishers will list exactly what they’re looking for on their website or blog. As a writer, it’s important to use these “open calls” as resources. The list should tell a writer all the manuscript requirements such as: genre, word count, deadline dates, etc.. But it also describes the genre in detail.
The first step is to make sure that the story fits the mold. Is it exactly what publishers are looking for? Is it what the market is looking for? A traditional publisher can help because there’s a team of people and abundant resources to help answer those questions. With self-publishing, a writer must do all the market research alone. He or she isn’t just a writer.
There are also many benefits to working with an established company. For one, having an ongoing social presence is vital to selling a book. Self-publishing is expensive and social media management takes a lot of time away from a writer who could be doing more writing. Yes, a writer needs to promote and sell, but it shouldn’t be their main job. Let someone else help with that part too.
Traditional publishers have a team who provide one v. one time with writers. Individual editors, creative teams and marketing teams who acquire hundreds of hopeful manuscripts each month. They’ve seen it all, and they know what it takes to make it in the business. More importantly, they know what to look for and they know what’s selling. Anyone can write a story but only good stories sell.
Finding a Publisher Without an Agent
Resources to Find a Publisher
I’ve read information on countless websites and blogs about tips on how to find a publisher. The Writer’s Market provides an updated listing for nearly every publisher looking for contest, magazine and book submissions. A reference book like this is a great resource for writers to have.
The best way to publish is to share your work. Start by entering a writing contest, put it out there, and pray. Do your best and then hope that every birthday candle and starlight star bright wish comes true for you.
Every publisher is different and every rejection reason is different. But you won’t know how different unless you start looking for one.