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Routes To Getting Published - Traditional Publishers

This is my second article discussing different routs to getting your book published and I am going to deal with traditional publishing as offered by the largest and best established of the publishing houses.

Traditional publishing refers to the established system of getting a book deal, which involves submission to agents and usually a many of rejections and then, perhaps, eventually being accepted. After you have been accepted as a client of the agent, they will submit the manuscript to publishers many of whom may reject it until one agrees to publish the work, and a contract is signed. The book will then go through more edits and will eventually be published.

Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to being traditionally published. One of the advantages is often seen as securing an advance. What this means is that the publisher pays the author money before the book has started to sell. This is therefore an advance on the anticipated royalty payments that the author will receive. No further money will be paid to the author until the book has sold sufficiently well to repay that advance to the publishers. So, the advance is effectively a loan and if the book does not sell as well as anticipated, no further payments will be made to the author, and, indeed, the chances are the contract will be terminated by the publisher.

Gone are the days when publishers would give authors a chance over two or three books to come good. The world of publishing, as many other avenues of life, is cut-throat now.

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of getting published.


Ø Good distribution networks, which can get your book into bookshops.

Ø Professional editing, production, and cover design of your book.

Ø Professional marketing.

Ø Can get your book reviewed in the media such as the press, radio or on television.

Ø Is more likely to result in sale of overseas, audio and film/TV rights.

Ø They usually pay an advance to authors. (An upfront payment which is offset against royalties.)


Ø Even with the biggest publishers, the amount they spend on marketing for debut authors is small. The author will require to make a considerable effort to promote their own book.

Ø It is difficult for debut authors to obtain bookshop space or professional reviews.

Ø Traditional royalty payments for physical books are low, and traditional publishers have been slower to exploit the e-book market than independent publishers and those who self-publish.

Ø Most traditional publishers will not consider direct submissions. The author will require representation by an agent before they will be considered, never mind accepted for publication.

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