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To publish or not publish-Sherri Rosen Publicity, New York City

So. You’ve just finished your first novel or memoir. Maybe you are almost to the end of your essay on the history of Rock n’ Roll or Rap. Or perhaps you have a hundred poems you are proud of, and think they could fill a book. The first question facing you is, Should I seek publication with a publisher, or should I self-publish.

There are pros and cons to both sides. Getting published by a publishing house is a career-changing possibility. Your book is edited by a professional team, carefully packaged and marketed, and released with the stamp of approval from the publishing house, and sometimes can receive great notice—even critical acclaim—quickly. Often publishing houses will finance a full-feature publicity campaign as well. Publishing houses are official, and not anyone can get their book accepted and published this way.

The path to getting published by a publishing house is uphill, difficult, and presents some of the lowest odds on the planet. Not only are publishing houses are highly selective in what they choose to publish, but it is nearly impossible to get your manuscript on the Acquisitions Editor’s desk. You may need to find an agent—and agents are not easy to find either, and almost as selective and competitive as publishing houses.

This is one reason why self-publishing is so alluring. Instead of spending months and months crafting proposals, mailing manuscripts and cover letters hither and yon, and usually only to receive a slow reply of rejection letters over the course of a year, you can simply get your book published. Do you just want to see it in a paperback, perfect-bound format, with an ISBN number and a table of contents? Then self-publishing might be for you.

Self-publishing has never been easier. There are dozens of online sites that allow you to simply upload your Word document to their site, design a cover, register an ISBN, and print. A great feature of self-publishing today is that it can be nearly free, especially if you work with a print-on-demand process, where the printers will only print copies that have been pre-ordered. This way, there is minimal financial risk, and yet so much to gain. You’re book will be professionally bound, for sale on all the on-line book retailers, and available to be enjoyed by the public.

One down side of self-publishing is that you do not have the “offical” endorsement of the publishing industry, and it can be an uphill battle to get your published work into the public’s eyes. This problem is sometimes not unique to self-publishing, since a lot of smaller publishing houses cannot afford to launch publicity campaigns. And so regardless of whether you self-publish or publish with a publishing house, it is extremely beneficial to know your goals for sales and marketed audience—before you make a decision.

There is no “wrong way” to publish. If you have something you really want to share with the world, now is the time to share it. You never know what beautiful and unexpected things can happen with words, especially written words published for the world to read. So dream big, and never give up. Your hard work could pay off someday. Remember hard work and magic do happen.

Sherri Rosen & Tyler Blanski, Sherri Rosen Publicity, New York City

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This entry was posted on Saturday, October 1st, 2011 at 10:38 am and is filed under Clients, Friends and Colleagues, Industry News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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