The world is changing so fast. Back in the day when I signed up for my first class in Fiction Technique, the goal was to get your work published by a traditional publisher by sending in query letters or even a draft with a cover letter. Now the trend is leaning towards self-publishing. What once was called vanity press is now becoming the way to go.
Even if you were to get the eye of a traditional publisher, you will be doing most of the marketing yourself. Your writing may be excellent but a traditional publisher will look at your following, how many people are interested in your writing online. You need to find an agent and be willing to wait a year or two or three to go the way of publishing traditionally and you do not retain full rights to your work.
So if you are looking into self-publishing, my first piece of advice is to do your research. There are alot of companies that are just out there to take your money. Do your due diligence. Research reviews, facts, what exactly are you getting for your money, etc.
As a website designer, I specialize in author websites. I asked several of my clients what advice they would give or companies they would recommend to someone looking into self-publishing.
Steps to Self-Publishing:
Line Editor (checks your writing style, communication, creative content)
Copy Editor (checks your grammar, spelling, facts)
Formatting (someone who can format your writing for specific ebook publishers or paperback)
Cover Design (graphic designer - Your cover is so important. Do not do it yourself unless you are a graphic artist.)
Recommendations from Published Authors:
(If recommended specifically by an author, there name is in parenthesis.)
Dave Fessendens - email@example.com (215)767-9600 (John Carroll)
Katherine Mayfield www.theboxofdaughter.com (Susan Frances Morris)
Kathryn Johnson kathrynjohnsonllc.com (Tammy Pasterick)
Cover Design -
Rob Baddorf - firstname.lastname@example.org (John Carroll)
DamonZa damonza.com (Alan Janney)
Sweet n Spice Book Covers sweetnspicydesigns.com (Alan Janney)
Annemieke Beemster Leverentz email@example.com (M.E. Roche)
Patrick Knowles www.patrickknowlesdesign.co.uk (Amy Maroney)
Andrew Brown at Design for Writers designforwriters.com (Amy Maroney)
WestBow (POD arm of Zondervan/Thomas Nelson) (Barbara Baranowski)
Archway Publishing from Simon & Schuster www.archwaypublishing.com
Ingrams Spark www.ingramspark.com
Barnes & Noble Press press.barnesandnoble.com
She Writes Press www.shewritespress.com (hybrid publisher)
Services & Education Packages -
Self-Publishing School - Matt Seitz 864-335-6881 (Dikkon Eberhart)
Ebook Launch ebooklaunch.com
BookBub - www.bookbub.com
Book Savvy PR, Caitlin Hamilton Summie, publicist (Suzanne Simonetti)
There is the option of Hybrid Publishing. Hybrid is a bit of both worlds and you retain your rights as you do with self-publishing. There is a monetary investment (usually more than purely going on your own) and your work must be accepted by the Hybrid Publisher. The publisher generally does the work, such as editing, formatting, and cover design through their company and they also help promote your book to some degree such as getting it into booksellers and libraries. Look at the fine print. Some may charge extra for editing or for cover design. You may need to hire your own publicist or pay for theirs. Know the details.