Top Book Publishing Myths Exposed

Stigmas are hard to break. Traditionally, major publishing houses were considered the only way that an author could get their book out in front of an audience. Over the past two decades, self-publishing has exploded and is quickly becoming a viable way for talented authors to find an audience without going through a major publisher. There is still a stigma, however, in many circles that unless a major publisher is backing the book; it is somehow less “good.” The reality is self-published books often say little about the quality of the writing and more about the ability to overcome the gatekeepers that have kept readers without some really life-altering crafted works.  Here are some publishing myths exposed.

Why Myths Remain in the Self-Publishing Versus Traditional Space

Many myths stem from the notion that only those who can break through to major publishing houses are worthy to be there. Many who are unaware of how difficult it is to even get their books in front of an agent wrongly assume that any book not published was read and discarded. It takes many years, hoops, and usually resources to get a major publisher and an agent to consider your book. Not many authors have those things, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have worthy crafted titles.

Myth Publishers Use Talent as Their Only Guide

While it is true that editors are usually the ones who are gatekeeping the author community, they aren’t in it purely to find the diamond in the rough. At the heart of it all, they are business people looking to appease the mainstream. Therefore, the books they choose are chosen based on profitability first. While there is nothing wrong with that because they are ultimately in business to make money, that doesn’t necessarily mean that their discerning eye is the end all be all of judgment.

If a Book is Turned Down it Was Not Worthy of Being Read

There are so many examples of where books have been initially turned down by hundreds of agents and publishing houses only to reach their audience and go down in infamy. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was turned down 121 times and has since sold five million books. Dr Seuss’s first title was voted no by 43 publishers and now it aligns every school and child’s bookshelf and the Harry Potter series was turned down by 12 publishers before being picked up. Not being a contract by a major publisher does not necessarily say anything about the quality of the book.

Publishers are Keeping Authors Locked Out

Many authors who have been pounding the agent and publisher pavement for years might begin to think that publishers are intentionally being mean by rejecting their manuscripts. The truth is publishers are in it to make money. They know that if they find the right author whose book sells, they will make money, period. It is not a personal choice of selection; it is a business and profit one.

Self-Published Books are Low Quality, While Traditionally Published Ones are High Quality

Publishers don’t invest as much into their artists as the public would think. They tend to have lower budgets for new authors and, yes, due to limited resources, might skimp on the actual publishing process to spend on marketing the book. On the editing side, many editors leave traditional publishing houses and move to the self-publishing space to lend their support. That means that quite likely many self-published books have been through the same scrutiny and standards set for traditionally published books.

The Real Money is in Traditional Big House Publishing Companies

Although traditional publishing houses do have the resources and the experience necessary to get most of their authors in front of the right audience, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will make more money. The reality is that not many authors make it to the status of Stephen King or JK Rowling’s status. Traditional publishing usually isn’t a ticket to a beach house and independent wealth. According to the numbers, mid-listed authors actually stand to make more income from self-publishing over the traditional route.

So, Which is Best for You?

If you haven’t yet published your book, you can go the traditional route and find an agent and wait to see if a publishing house picks it up. If you do go the self-publishing route, then you will have to invest in yourself as a writer, but it is a viable way to go. Either way, the merit of the story will speak for itself only with the assistance of book promotion and book marketing. For those who do decide to go it alone, we’d love to be a source to get you in front of your audience. Contact us today to get started.


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