You want to be an author. You’re working desperately on your manuscript. You’re writing everyday.
Yet you’re staring at your email, and wondering why you’re not hearing back from publishers. You start to lose hope. You wonder if this is just a stupid venture that is a waste of time.
You wonder if you should just shelf your manuscript.
You laugh at it.
You’re afraid to tell people that you’re writing a book, for fear that they would ask you who’s going to publish it, and then you’re caught and thinking,
umm, no one.
In February 2022, 4 months after leaving my full-time job in October 2021, I committed $10,000 towards publishing a book.
It might have been the most stupid thing I’d done. There was no certainty of income, and I was investing a big part of my savings into this venture.
This was a hybrid publishing arrangement with Candid Creations.
If you’re not familiar in the differences between the various arrangements, here’s a table.
I would personally attest towards trying all of them.
|Self-publishing||Hybrid publishing||Traditional Publisher|
|Cost||You bear all the costs, but expect it to start at around $6000.
$3000 for laying it out, and another $3000 for printing at least 500 copies of it.
|Candid Creation starts from $10,000 for 500 copies, with editorial support||Varies, but expect it to start at around $3000 for smaller publishers (not Penguin Random House) who might want you to cover some of their costs|
|Layout and design||You support yourself and the easiest way is to find a publisher||Candid Creation will give you a layout artist, an editor, and a graphic artist to design your cover and internal graphics||The publisher will be responsible for layouts and graphics|
Why do you want to write and get published?
If you think you can get rich from writing, you may die trying.
Writing, at least for me, hasn’t been the most profitable way to get rich.
Knowing your reasons would help. Kok Hwa, of Candid Creation, once shared a few reasons why you might want to write:
- To raise your credibility on the subject
- To become a subject matter expert
- To build your own credibility as a writer
- To make money.
The last point might not be the most feasible, especially when you’re first starting out. Knowing this would help you to be less disappointed upon publishing your book.
If you look at the book writing process, it may look like a huge task. But break it down, and you would find that it’s a lot simpler.
How much money are you willing to invest?
If you want to write a book, have the money to invest in the process. It’s not going to come cheap.
Of course we all wish that we could be published by Penguin, but if they don’t want you, do you then drop your dream of being an author?
You can spend on a hybrid publisher like Candid Creation, that will bring your book from idea to print.
Just be prepared to spend $10000 though.
Here, I will share the 3 books I’ve written, and how much they have cost me.
|One Day at a Time (2020)||Printed cards||Totalled $2550, which included $1500 to print 500 copies, and then $1050 for the graphic designer|
|Becoming Better (2021)||Ebook||$5850 for the graphic designer and layout|
|Vault! (2023)||Book||Candid Creation Publishing quoted me $11,500 for printing 500 copies of 192 pages, and included editing, design, and layout|
I would say that you should set aside at least $10,000.
Having gone through the hybrid publishing process, I realised that was the most important point for me in my career as a writer. I needed an editor to refine my work, to tell me what was good, what was not as good, and to grow me as a writer.
But you might wonder, is it worth paying that much money? After all you could manage it yourself, getting the
- Layout artist
I liked the fact that there was also a publisher like Kok Hwa that connected me with reputable media outlets, to help me to raise awareness of my book.
He also managed the timeline well, pushing me all the way to the finish, especially when I was close to giving up.
You might think that you can manage yourself well on your own, but wait till you look at your 46,000 word manuscript, and suddenly get struck by self-doubt about whether anyone (including your mother) would even want to read it.
The hybrid publishing way might be the way to go, if you’re not experienced in writing
Writing a book is not the same as writing your university essays. It calls for a far more diverse skillset in terms of:
- Your book is your product, and you need to know just what makes a good book.
- Market awareness
- You need to learn what the market wants to buy in terms of books.
- Telling a good story, making good arguments, and recognising what brings the reader from problem to solution, is vital.
- Sales and marketing
- Writing is not enough. Selling is necessary.
- Work capacity
- Without a doubt, you need to work very hard to write a book.
- Having a system where you write daily, whether you like it or not, is necessary.
Publishing a book may not be for you, but for the reader
Ultimately, if you believe you have a story to share, it’s worth going the distance to share it.
Writing a book isn’t just for you. It’s for the readers you eventually write it for.