Publishing contract

Book Blog: Self publish or use a publisher?

My book is taking shape. The excitement is building. I need to consider how to get it published. How am I going to get this creation of mine launched into the world. 

I need to decide whether to find a publisher or self-publish. There are pros and cons to both. 

When I published my first book I did it through a publisher. Self-publishing didn’t occur to me at the time. It wasn’t such an easy option then. It’s amazing how that has become so much more available in such a short space of time. 

Last time the first publisher I approached, accepted and gave me a contract to publish. Since then I’ve heard so many stories about how difficult it is to get a publisher to agree to publish your book. I feel very blessed to have had such an easy ride of it.

Once I’d sent them the manuscript, they did the rest. They designed the layout, the book cover, set the sale price, they organized the printing, put it in the bookstores, and did a lot of marketing. They even negotiated a license for it to be published in Russian.

I need to go back to my first publisher before I make a decision this time. I know it’s not the kind of book that they publish, but the agreement I had with them was to offer them first refusal on any new book I write. 

While I wait for their response, I look at other publishers whose collections include books along the same vein as mine. I look at one. Their website tells me they are not taking submissions at the moment. I look at books in my library and see who’s published those books. I google another that could be a good option. They’re based in America. Would that be possible for a UK based author? I don’t know so I keep looking. 

Here’s another publisher. They’re global and have a UK office. I look at their range of books. They publish similar books to mine. People who have written their own story and have a message to share. I look at their submissions page. They ask for a full manuscript. I wouldn’t call mine a full manuscript yet, but I think it’s worth a punt. I contact them and ask if that the full manuscript is necessary at this stage. (Since then they have replied to tell me that I can submit a synopsis and three chapters. In fact, they invited me to do so.)

On the same day my first publisher confirmed what I thought, my new book is not the kind of book that they would publish. They wish me well.

I’m still not decided about whether to use a publisher or self-publish. I’m nervous about self-publishing. I haven’t done it before – although I’ve never let something like that stop me before. I know enough people who have done it. It can’t be that difficult surely? 

I check it out. It looks like it could be pretty straight forward, but again my manuscript isn’t ready for me to try that yet. 

I might be nervous about self-publishing but I’m also nervous about making a submission to the publisher. All those thoughts and feelings I talked about in my last blog. 

I find myself writing a synopsis and selecting three chapters anyway. Before I send them, I make a few last-minute nervous adjustments. I know I can keep on editing until the cows come home. At some point I have to let my work go into the ether. I save them changes and put the documents to one side just for now. I leave it for a few days while I um and ah about whether to send them. 

In the end I do.  I'll keep you posted. 

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