After posting their works on social media, many Nigerian writers have no idea what next step to take. So they ask questions like, Should I publish or not? When do I know I’m ready to show the world my works? How do I get my book published? What self-publishing company should I approach?
Although these questions are reasonable and every aspiring author should probe, why don’t we start from the basics?
At The Lens Media, we often get messages inquiring about the differences between publishing online and traditionally. Some ask if publishing their book digitally can affect traditional publishing. This article will clarify the frequently asked questions about publishing.
WHAT IS PUBLISHING?
Publishing is simply the process of making privately written works public. Think of it as a private company going public. So many things would change. It’s no longer a small pool of friends and family reading your works and giving feedback, the world can access it and peruse it as they like.
With publishing, you do not know where your book may end up or whose hands it would. So putting certain things in place is paramount in making the right impression. What are these things and how do you know you’re ready?
HOW TO KNOW YOU’RE READY TO PUBLISH A BOOK
There isn’t a timeframe for publishing. Whenever you think you’re ready, you are. It could be after growing some followers on social media and getting feedback. Or it could be after taking courses, classes and practicing hard in your closet. Whichever works for you.
However, if you’re still confused about timing, here’s a checklist for you.
IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE BEFORE PUBLISHING?
No, it isn’t. But it depends largely on the type of publishing and your preference. For instance, writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Wole Soyinka, are inactive on social media yet their books make tons of sales.
There are several services involved in publishing that make it possible to be passive on social media and still sell. They are:
- Book marketing
- Book promotions
- And many more.
These services, however, are not limited to social media-inactive authors. They are what make up the publishing process and the type of publishing you choose determines how these services would be rendered.
TYPES OF PUBLISHING
- Traditional publishing
Traditional publishing is the act of entrusting a firm to take care of your publishing for a fee. This type of publishing produces paperbacks(books with hardcovers). Its process involves editing, proofreading, hardcover designing, book advertising, and so on.
To publish a book traditionally, You have to approach traditional publishing houses with your manuscript and follow their in-house processes. Contracts and Royalties differ according to the publishing firm. It’s important to research before leaping.
In the same vein, research traditional publishing companies that upload books digitally as well. Traditional firms have evolved and several of them have apps for readers who prefer to read online.
Contrary to traditional publishing that involves putting all processes in the hands of a firm, self-publishing requires doing all yourself. After writing the book, get an editor, a proofreader, a book marketer, and others.
Self-publishing is a new trend. It’s often confused with publishing only digitally. Truth is, if you self-hired all the people involved in your paperback publishing, you have also self-published a book.
With self-publishing, you don’t have to bend to a publishing house’s rules. You set your own rules and decide where to sell.
Digital self-publishing doesn’t affect paperback self-publishing. Your book can be available in any format, including audiobooks. The goal is to make it available to every kind of reader.
Getting started with self-publishing digitally is free at TheLensMedia. You earn eighty percent profits from every sale you make. Also, we offer editing, book cover design, and book review services. Click here to get started.