The number of new publications in self-publishing in the English-language market is currently growing at around 25% per year. The number of new titles from publishing houses is falling by 5% per year on average. In self-publishing, authors therefore publish in a dynamic, popular environment.
The big advantage is that you don’t have to take care of everything yourself as you do with self-publishing. Rather, the self-publishing service provider takes care of publishing on your behalf and selling your book. The services offered by self-publishing service providers differ considerably in some cases. You alone can determine your criteria for choosing a self-publishing service provider. These criteria can help you to evaluate the service provider:
- Material: Do you have a sufficient choice of paper types and binding types (softcover, hardcover)?
- Distribution: Where will your book be available? Everywhere in bookshops or only at online retailers.
- Marketing: What tools are offered?
- Support: Do you have contact persons if you have questions?
- Experiences: How do other authors rate the provider?
Phase 2: Publish the book
Now it gets exciting! You’ve finished your book, you’ve set yourself clear goals (such as gaining publicity with your book, sharing your knowledge or realising your dream of writing your own book) and you want to get started! We explain what you need to know about publishing your book with a publisher versus self-publishing so that you are well informed and can easily publish your book.
How does book publishing work?
In book printing, the contents of a book are offered for sale or, in rare cases, free of charge. For this purpose, an author transfers the exploitation rights to a publishing house or uses a self-publishing service provider who carries out the publication for the author. This service provider ensures that a book can be ordered in bookshops or offered for download as an e-book in e-book shops. The transfer of exploitation rights to publishers or self-publishing service providers can be exclusive or non-exclusive. In the latter case, an author can then publish his or her book in other ways.
How long does it take to publish a book?
It depends on which book publishing route an author takes. Self-publishing is the fastest, as an author decides when to publish and a book is available in bookshops within a few days. With a publisher, the decision alone as to whether a title should be published at all can take several months. After a positive decision, it can take several years before a title is included in the programme. In self-publishing, i.e. publishing without a publisher or self-publishing service provider, an author also holds the reins himself. However, they have to set up their own distribution channels to bookshops, online shops and printers. Selecting these partners also takes time. The easier and safer way is definitely self-publishing via a good service provider.
What is the process of publishing a book?
Write your book calmly and take your time.
Check your book for spelling mistakes and logic.
Have your book edited or at least corrected.
You decide which way to publish your book, i.e. self-publishing or classic book publishing. Self-publishing is not advisable, as it involves a lot of risk and effort.
Depending on the publishing method, you now create the cover and design the interior. In self-publishing, you do this yourself. In a traditional publishing house, the publisher takes over the work.
Start marketing. Even if you have published with a traditional publishing house, you should not leave success to chance and also activate your network so that your book gets attention.
Procedure for publishing your book with a publishing house
If you apply to a traditional book publisher, it can take many months before you receive a response. If you are happy to receive a positive response, you will be offered an author’s contract in the medium term. This contract regulates which rights are associated with the publication of the book, how much you will receive as an author’s fee and which obligations you will enter into. It is then important that you discuss all open questions thoroughly with the book publisher about how they will publish your book. This includes, above all, questions about the contract before you sign it. If you are asked to pay high four- to five-figure sums in advance, your alarm bells should ring. You may then be dealing with a printing subsidy publisher. Haven’t heard the term yet? In this article, we’ll explain what a printing subsidy publisher is all about.
A lengthy process
After taking a long time to find a publisher, you should be aware that the process of getting a book published can be a long one. It is not uncommon for it to take another year or two before your book is actually published, even after you have received positive feedback from a publisher. This is mainly due to the fact that book publishers traditionally work with half-yearly programmes, i.e. they launch a new publishing programme once in spring and once in autumn.
Putting your manuscript to the test
When the time has come, an editor will read and revise your book thoroughly. You must expect that whole passages will be deleted or rewritten, or that you yourself will have to revise many passages of the book. Your book may be changed a lot, and there is nothing you can do to prevent this.
After the text has been revised, it will be passed on to the production and typesetting department, where the text will be professionally typeset with everything that goes with it: page numbers, paragraphs, headings, etc. After that, you may be asked to make further cuts or changes, and at the same time a proofreader will meticulously check the spelling and grammar of your text.
At the same time, the editor, marketing department and illustrators are busy choosing a book title, a cover or the complete design of the book jacket. Then your book can go to press and be published. This all sounds attractive, but as described it takes a long time and you have to be prepared to not want to stick to your exact content. If you don’t want that, the self-publishing route is probably better for you.
Book publishing with a self-publishing service provider
If you publish your book through a self-publishing service provider, the process is a little different. The good news is: Self-publishing is usually much faster than traditional publishing. You don’t have to submit a synopsis, apply or wait months for a response. However, this does not mean that self-publishing is a foregone conclusion or that you should not pay just as much attention to the professionalism of your book.
Easy book production without waiting
Self-publishing service providers usually offer authors the opportunity to submit a book directly online. In the case of tredition, this is very easy. You are guided step by step through the publication process. You decide yourself which tools you want to use. These include our cover designer, automatic book typesetting, imprint generator and metadata optimiser. Depending on your book genre, the entire process is already pre-configured. We suggest suitable book types (softcover, hardcover, e-book, large print) for your book project. There are always several. So you don’t just publish your book as a softcover, for example, but simultaneously or staggered in several book types. This gives the reader more choice. In addition, you receive recommendations for suitable paper types, binding types, sales prices and much more. If you want, you only have to click on “Next” and do not have to set anything yourself.
In general, in self-publishing, you have full freedom to decide on many more details than with a book publisher, such as the design of the cover, the structure of the content, the blurb or the sales price.
At tredition, you can book an editing or proofreading service, have your cover designed by a graphic artist or order a test print if you wish.
Print to order
Your book will be available on the book market within a few days, as we work with all major book wholesalers. In concrete terms, this means that readers can order your book from a small bookshop as well as from chain shops and also from all the major bookshops on the internet. Unlike traditional book publishers, self-publishing service providers like tredition work according to the print-on-demand principle. This means that as soon as a customer orders your book in the bookshop or online, it is printed and delivered to the bookshop or customer. This guarantees that you as a book author do not have to pay in advance for a print run that may not be sold at all in the end.
What does book publishing cost?
The costs of publishing or editing a book vary greatly at first glance. Even with self-publishing service providers, the offers vary widely – from free to a few thousand euros. However, the total costs, including editing, cover design, book typesetting, distribution, production are almost the same regardless of the type of book publication. They are only distributed differently among the participants, i.e. publication in a traditional publishing house, self-publishing or self-publishing.
The costs of publishing a book therefore vary. It depends on the way you publish a book. Most self-publishing providers offer your publication free of charge. The services included vary and each author must decide which service components are important for the book project. However, you should bear in mind that authors have to pay for editing, proofreading and cover design (if you do not use the free cover designer from tredition) themselves. If the book is published by a publisher, the publisher bears these costs.
What do you earn with a book?
The earnings a book author makes from a book vary greatly. It depends on how many copies are sold at what retail price. In a traditional book publishing house, the author’s fees are between 4 and 12% of the book price after tax. It depends on the author’s reputation, the genre and the retail price. In self-publishing, these fees are higher, but it must be taken into account that an author must also bear the costs of editing, cover design and book typesetting themselves beforehand. A classic publishing run starts at about 2,500 copies. With a sales price of 15.00 € before tax, an author therefore earns between 1,400 and 5,200 €. So you should be realistic if you are planning to become a self-employed author.
You need enough financial leeway to start and, above all, time to write a growing number of book titles.
According to popular opinion, there are no costs with a publishing house. Authors even receive an advance that the publisher “advances”. There are opinions that demonise all publishing services where authors are expected to contribute to the cost of publishing a book. This opinion is too divided into black and white. Scientific or art publishers publish books that have only a small readership. Without the participation of an author or sponsors, these projects cannot cover their costs. The term “printing cost subsidy publisher” should therefore be used reflectively in relation to the publishing environment. For the publication of a scientific work, a few thousand euros is not frivolous. For the publication of a book of poetry it certainly is!
Author’s fees are difficult to compare. That’s why we have written a comprehensive author’s fee guide.
Your rights and responsibilities as a book author
If you write and publish a book, you are a book author. Congratulations! You can be proud of that. From a purely fiscal point of view, you are a freelancer and must claim your income from book sales for tax purposes. Here you can find out what you have to consider in detail: “Tax knowledge for authors”. As an author, you are automatically the creator of your book and have the corresponding rights. You can find all the important information here: “Copyright for Authors.
Phase 3: Your book is published – and now?
This phase is at least as exciting for you as the process of publishing the book itself. Because now your book is really available on the market and you may also get the first feedback from readers about your book! Important: After publication, the work is not yet done, i.e. don’t sit back, but keep a close eye on how your book is received, how sales develop, what reviews your book receives and how your genre and subject area develop on the book market. All this can be helpful, for example, to respond to reader comments, to enter into a lively exchange with your readers, to engage in conversation and to further promote your book.
Marketing your book: the nuts and bolts
If you publish your book with a traditional book publisher, it will be featured in the relevant publisher’s preview and ideally also by the book publisher’s sales force in bookshops. However, you cannot assume that your book will immediately be seen in the windows of numerous bookshops. Moreover, book marketing is from the last century. Book buyers make their decision to buy a book based on very different factors than the presence in the bookstore or recommendation of a bookseller.
In self-publishing, you can control the really important factors that make purchasing decisions. To stand out from the crowd, it is therefore advisable to use many measures. There are about 2.5 million available book titles in the German-language book market. Of these, about 350 million books are sold every year. This means that each available book sells on average only 140 times a year! No matter how good a book is, it doesn’t sell by itself; it has to be marketed well.
Average sales per available book
Books sold per year 350,000,000
Books in print 2,500,000
Copies sold per available book 140
If, after a few months, your published book does not sell as well as you had hoped, there can be many reasons for this. Perhaps your blurb and cover are not aimed at the right target group? Or maybe you have set a selling price that does not correspond to the usual prices in your genre?
New edition or series?
If you have published a specialist book, you should regularly check whether a book update (possible at tredition at any time and free of charge) or a new edition of your book would be useful and important. Especially in the case of current topics or new research results, etc., this can be valuable for retaining existing readers and attracting new ones. If you have published a novel and have had great pleasure in doing so, it might be a good idea to continue the novel or start a whole series of novels. If you are thinking about this, self-publishing is a good way to do it because of the quick and easy way to publish.