Considerations When Choosing the Best Publishing Path for a Book

Authors have many publishing options these days, which can make choosing the best path for a book difficult. Some authors initially think a traditional publishing path where they get a book contract, an advance, and royalties, is the best route. Traditional publishers will provide extensive editing, design, and marketing support, which is a big advantage. While this path may be ideal for most authors, it can be challenging to get representation and land a publishing deal, and some things are out of an author's control on this path.

If this path doesn't pan out, Director of Publishing Services at HarperCollins Christian Publishing Pete Nikolai recommends looking at one of four other options:

1) Do-it-yourself publishing where the author does everything themselves.
2) General contractor publishing where the author hires out the various needs to contractors, depending on their skills.
3) Assisted self-publishing where the author purchases service packages from a company.
4) Hybrid publishing where a traditional publishing imprint offers self-publishing services.

The further you get away from traditional publishing, he says, the more work the author has to do. Nikolai recommends assessing your goals and skills to determine how much you want to learn and do in the process. You can then pick the publishing option that best complements your goals and skills.

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