June 29, 2017
Not so long ago nearly all book publishing was managed by traditional publishing houses.
There were numerous benefits to this model, the most important being a focus on quality. Often, this came from a deep love of literature and a passion to create books that could have a positive impact on the world. Over time, however, business concerns began to overshadow other considerations. And it makes some sense. If a company is going to invest resources in producing, distributing and advertising a book, they have to be confident that book will sell.
Unfortunately, that means that many high quality books never get published. The problem isn’t the writing or the story; the only problem is that an editor doesn’t believe there a big enough market for the book. It’s why celebrities get six figure advances for tell-all books and literary geniuses can go unrecognized. One only needs to look as far as JK Rowling to see this principle in action. Not only was Harry Potter rejected by virtually every major publishing house, but even after the series became an international phenomenon the author still ran into publishing walls. When Rowling attempted to publish her adult crime novels under a pseudonym, she was rejected again. One editor even told her she could not be commercially successful and suggested she take writing classes. At the end of the day, publishing companies exist to sell units, not stories. The result is that many quality and important books never get published at all.
Thankfully, things are beginning to change. With the advent of publishing services companies like FriesenPress, writers can take publication into their own hands while not missing out on professional grade editing, design, promotional support, publicity, and distribution services. Authors can publish in as little as six months and enjoy royalty rates that are dramatically higher than those offered by traditional publishers.
But perhaps the single greatest benefit of professionally supported “indie publishing” is that a much more diverse set of voices is being heard. Far from simply “DIY” or vanity publishing, professional publishing services offer independent writers a chance to bring their message to the world. If an author believes enough in their story, they can create, publish, and distribute a book (and eBook!) that matches and often exceeds the quality offered by traditional publishing houses.
It’s a great time to be a writer!