• Your Top 6 Questions About Publishing

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 2 comments

    After last week’s announcement of our three new publication assistance services, a few readers reached out with questions about publication, and we answered ’em, because that’s why we’re here.

    But when it comes to publishing, many writers have questions, and many writers have the same questions, so I grabbed the six most popular (actually, it’s kind of seven; I’m cheating a little) to answer here today.

    Some are about self-publishing, some are about traditional vs. self- vs. hybrid, some are about WriteByNight’s role in the process (spoiler alert: We don’t publish books! But we can help you find a publisher). All of them are questions we’ve heard more than a few times each, so chances are that you’ve wondered about one or two of them yourself.

    If you have any questions about publication that we haven’t answered here, leave ’em in the comments and we’ll respond.


    Is my book good enough to publish?

    Yes! The answer is always yes. But sometimes with some caveats.

    First you need to know what you’re looking for from publication. If nothing will satisfy you but a Big Five publishing house, well, that can be a tougher sell. Though we’ve had plenty of clients land one of those five, and they all at one point or another started that process by asking this same question.

    There are also hundreds of indie publishers and hybrid publishers out there waiting to hear from you.

    And then of course there’s self-publication. The acceptance rate from self-publishers is exactly 100%… so long as you can afford it.

    We’ll be glad to read your manuscript and offer some guidance. With a manuscript critique, you’ll get a thorough read-through of your book, detailed editorial feedback and commentary, and a one-hour, one-on-one meeting to discuss what’s working and what’s not. We’re also available for late-stage editing and proofreading.

    Or, with our new publication consultation, a WBN consultant will read your book and talk you through all of your options, as well as offer craft feedback with an eye toward making your book publishable.

    Request a free consultation to discuss these or any others of our services.


    Should I try to find a publisher or publish my book myself?

    It depends almost entirely on what you want out of publication, and how much control you want to have over the process.

    A traditional publisher can offer things self-publishing can’t, such as payment (and sometimes royalties), an editorial and design staff, and post-publication marketing and promotion. But they do it their way and at their pace.

    With self-publishing, you put up the money yourself, but you’re also in charge every step of the way. Which can be intimidating, but also freeing. Especially when you consider that any rewards that come from the finished product—a product that will have been built entirely by you!—are yours.

    And then there’s hybrid publication, which combines elements of both traditional and self-publication.

    So many options! All with their own pros and cons. Again, if you have a manuscript and lots of questions about how to send it out into the world, consider a publication consultation.


    Do I need an agent?

    Here’s another question whose answer depends on what you’re looking to get out of publication. (Are you noticing a theme here?!) A reputable agent with a history of success, which implies a good working relationship with editors at publishing houses, can open doors that are tough to crack. And he or she will do a lot of the legwork that comes with pitching a book.

    Of course, in return he or she takes a cut of anything you make from the book.

    A good agent will help you bypass the slush pile. But lots of good stuff is found in the slush pile, and although not all large publishers accept unagented submissions, most of them have at least an imprint or two that do.

    If you know how to query and have a good proposal—and a thick skin—sure, you can do it yourself.

    If you’re self-publishing, no, you don’t need an agent.


    Will WriteByNight publish my book? 

    ‘Fraid not. We’re not a publisher (yet?). But we know how to help *get* a book published. That’s why our publication services are so popular.


    Will WriteByNight connect me to agents and publishers you know?

     Two weeks ago we would’ve said no. But now that we’ve partnered with Atmosphere Press, we can say yes! If you’re interested in hybrid publication with Atmosphere, contact us today. We’ll fast-track your query straight to Atmosphere’s executive editor.

    Otherwise, no, we don’t use our personal connections with agents or publishers. What we will do is help you prepare your submission materials to the point where an agent or publisher will have a hard time resisting your query or proposal.


    Is self-publishing complicated? How much does it cost?

    The costs and the difficulty vary. Thankfully it’s getting easier all the time, especially as new technology rises in response to self-publishing’s popularity. And with the decrease of difficulty often comes a decrease in costs.

    To learn all of the ins and outs, sign up for self-publishing coaching with one of our publishing experts, where, in as few as one to three sessions, you’ll learn all about self-publishing’s pros and cons, its costs and technology, and the marketing and promotion of your own book.


    Your turn: Anything else you want to ask us about? Let ‘er rip in the comments below and we’ll get back to you. Or request a free consultation to speak one-on-one and in private with us.


    0 0 votes
    Article Rating
    Notify of

    Newest Most Voted
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    Carmen Petro

    How difficult is it to turn a published work (either self published or hybrid) into an e-book (Amazon Kindle) or audio book suitable for services such as Alexa. Would it be easier to plan that effort at the same time as publishing or do it afterward?

    David Duhr

    Hi Carmen. Good question! Some hybrid publishers include the ebook and/or audiobook as part of their publication process; just check their offerings and make sure which services/costs are included and which are not. For self-publishing, ebooks are becoming easier as the technology continues to improve. As for timing, some writers like to work on and produce print copies and ebooks simultaneously, just to knock it all out at once. Others prefer to focus on one at a time, rather than splitting their attention between the two. So I guess it depends on how willing and able you are to multitask… Read more »

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x