Traditionally publishing a book is the option for authors who want to entrust their works to publishing houses, regardless of whether the latter is a small press or a big one. Here are five of the most common myths that authors have about traditional publishing.
Myth # 1 – Since it’s my book, I’m the boss!
You wrote the book. You created the characters and laid out the plot. However, just because you are the writer, that doesn’t mean that you are the sole decision-maker when it comes to the book. Traditional publishers will sometimes request changes to the book in accordance to what they think will sell. These changes are oftentimes made in accordance to the mainstream market.
Myth # 2 – I can quit my day job anytime now!
Stop! Don’t make the mistake of quitting your day job just because you’ve got one book published. It is impossible to make a living out of your published book alone unless you are already at the level of JK Rowling or Stephen King. Yes, you may be receiving royalties from publishing a book. However, don’t think that what you’ll get is substantial enough to pay your rent. On the low end, what you receive may just be enough for a cup of coffee.
Myth # 3 – I’m excited for the huge marketing campaign for my book!
Indeed, the publishing house may show support for the release of your book through a marketing campaign. However, it definitely won’t be as huge as when Jodie Picoult releases her new masterpiece. Most publishing houses allocate a big portion of their marketing budget to their writers whom they consider as their top earners.
Myth # 4 – I got published last year. I’m sure to be published again this year.
Just because you got published once doesn’t mean that you will get published again – even if it is with the same publisher. Whether you will gain recognition as a traditionally published author or not depends on the reception your book receives.
Myth # 5 – My book is guaranteed to be published since I got paid in advance.
Some publishers are okay with paying a small amount to authors in advance for their book. You should not take this as a guarantee that your book will be published though. This is just a pittance, after all. Remember that many popular authors nowadays have admitted to receiving an advance from their publisher but were unable to see their books in hard print at the end.
These myths about traditional publishing should not deter you from actually putting out your book out there though. If you are really skeptical about traditional publishing, you may also consider self publishing a book. Of course, there are myths you should debunk about self-publishing as well. After that, it is up to you to decide whether self-publishing is better compared to traditional publishing or vice versa.