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Writing the great american novel - part four - how will you publish

Books, Books, Books
Books, Books, Books
Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

When starting to write a novel, finding a publisher seems a bit premature but deciding how to publish early in the process can prove to be a very valuable tool later in the process.

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing gigs are few and far between but if you can get in, it’s great. You have no out of pocket expenses but the royalties are low. The book is bought by the publisher, the ISBN is in their name and your book is no longer yours. They do the promoting but they also get a bigger cut.

Vanity Publishing

Vanity publishing is publishing that you pay for. Some, not all, retain the rights to your book. Royalties are larger but the cost can be from a few thousand dollars up to $25,000. They offer editorial services as well as design…at a cost. Some people who can’t find a traditional publisher but still want the service use these.


Self-publishing is still expensive but the author retains complete control of the book. All of the cost and all of the profits go to the author, along with all of the work. Hiring everyone individually could be advantageous if you shop around. Vanity editors charge up to .03 per word while independents charge much less.

There will be much more discussion concerning the different publishing avenues. It’s not too early to do the research and know the cost in case you need to start saving.

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