Audrey Biloon

Pick Your Published Poison

There are three ways to get a book published…

through a large publishing house, for those authors who are well known or discovered by a well known publisher or a well respected agent,


by hiring a small publisher,


by self publishing.

For most of us, the bottom line, is that whether you hire a small publisher or self publish, publishing is the easiest part of the process of getting your book known by more than your relatives and close friends.

The hard(est) part is getting your book widely known and sold for enough money to cover all of your costs (and, if you’re lucky, to make a profit). And that takes time and lots of travel to different cities and/or an internet blast….more than just getting your book listed on/through Amazon.

If you’re a well known author or famous or a budding, amazing author who can get discovered or get the attention of a respected agent, well known publishers (publishing houses) will not only do all of the publishing and marketing work for you, but they’ll also advance a hefty fee to you, so that you can sit back, enjoy cocktails at the resorts you can now afford, wait for the travel directions (which the publisher will also pay for), arrange the TV appearances, and roll out the red carpet for you while the profits and movie rights roll in.

Those of us, who write for the fun and love of the craft and who will give their books away to friends and relatives and have the rest gather dust (the books – not the friends and relatives) in the garage, shouldn’t be fooled by someone who promises to “publish” your book for a hefty fee. That sounds like a home run but it’s absolutely not!! It’s an extra expense that may be needed in some cases but one that you can avoid if you want to learn the easy steps of self publishing.

However, if -after doing a lot of reading on the process- those steps seem too confusing and if you don’t mind spending the extra money, then hiring a publisher can be the way to go…just be careful of paying too much for the help of a publisher who promises to publish your book, because the publisher will do exactly what you would be doing if you were to self publish and will then add a fee for taking those steps for you.

Then again, a publisher may also edit your book for you, adding the fee into the publishing fee, and you may feel that’s worth the cost as well. Some publishers edit for a clearly stated additional fee or a publisher you hire may hire an editor and add on a fee for that. Or if the publisher agrees, and if you’re good at self editing and honest with yourself about your writing, you can save a lot of money by doing that work yourself. Or if the publisher agrees you can hire an editor of your choosing or you can ask a friend or relative to do it for a smaller fee (or as a huge favor). However, keep in mind that a really honest friend or relative (who also really knows how to edit) will have to tell you what you may not want to hear, so prepare yourself for constructive criticism or for the possibility of your feelings being hurt and losing a good friendship or a loving relationship at the next thousand -or what will feel like a thousand- Thanksgiving dinners.

However you decide to edit your book, by self editing, or by hiring an editor or by getting hurt feelings because your friend or relative told you the truth about your writing…..

you can always self publish a book with the help of a knowledgeable printing company.

That kind of self publishing – again, with the help of the printing company- means the company (for a fee) will help you

get an ISBN number,

select a front and back cover,

print a notice of copyright and notice of first printing on the inside page


print everything in the quantities you want or need.

Again, if you’re not among the A List Authors or A List Agents who discovered you, hiring a publisher or self publishing is the easy part. The hard part -if you’re aiming to make money on the venture- is getting your book “to market”, after publishing, through advertising, traveling, hotel stays, meals, shoe leather, as well as wear and tear (not to mention tears) on your guts.

So, pick your publishing poison, have fun, and enjoy the next several (won’t feel like a thousand) family gatherings without any hard feelings.

About the Author
Having been a teacher, social worker, radio show host(ess), newspaper columnist and lawyer, Audrey, now retired, writes, teaches improv, performs stand up comedy, and continues to practice turning stress into gratitude……which is sort of like practicing law: the practice won’t always result in perfection.
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