May 22

Pros & Cons: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Pros & Cons: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

If you have been thinking about self-publishing, but you aren’t sure what the benefits actually are, then this is the perfect opportunity to weigh the pro and cons of each one. We’ll be looking at traditional publishing in details, including the advantages and disadvantages, and then face them off with the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing. This will give you a much better idea which one to choose,

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing simply means submitting your book to publishers via an agent or through the publisher’s submission process. Generally, publishers will sign a contract with you and pay you some sort of an advance. This will likely not be much for a first-time author, and how much you actually get will depend upon the size of the publisher and the genre that your book is in. Some publishers do not do advances at all. From there, the publisher will publish and distribute your book, typically six months to a year after you sign the contract, and then you will be sent royalties every quarter.

Pros of Traditional Publishing

  • You may get an advance up front before your book sells a single copy.
  • You will be automatically listed in industry catalogs and possibly available in bookstores.
  • Your publisher will be willing to give a higher advance next book if this one sells well.
  • You get the distinction of being a published author and respected within the industry.
  • You will have a much easier time getting an agent if you have a contract for a book deal.

Cons of Traditional Publishing

  • You have to sign rights to your book over to the publisher.
  • Your royalties are going to be somewhere between 10 percent and 15 percent most likely.
  • You do not have any creative control when it comes to book covers and blurbs,
  • You may have to change your book in many ways to meet the publisher’s guideline.

Self-Publishing

Self-publishing is simply the act of publishing the book yourself either by creating your own publishing company, using a paid vanity press or by using any of the free or nearly free platforms out there for self-publishing a book. The advantages and disadvantages that we will be covering refer mostly to the third option here.

Pros of Self-Publishing

  • You get a much higher royalty.
  • You own the rights to your book at all times.
  • You are able to pull the book from the shelves if you want, make corrections and republish is another edition.
  • You have creative control over everything to do with your book.

Cons of Self-Publishing

  • You will have a much harder time getting listed in the industry catalogs such as Ingram and Baker and Taylor.
  • You will not have the power of the major publishing company behind you.
  • You will have to pay for services like editing or book cover design yourself.
  • Any mistakes that are made, or any legal problems that arise over publication of your book will be yours to deal with alone.
May 16

5 Photoshop Tricks for First-Time Book Cover Designers

Photoshop Tricks for First-Time Book Cover Designers

If you are a self-published author trying to create your own book cover, you might have found out that it is not as easy as it looks. Luckily, many authors do eventually figure out how to use Photoshop successfully and create some really amazing book covers. There are some tricks that can help you get to that point faster if you know them. We’ll be looking at five things that you can do to create an amazing book cover for yourself.

Look at Book Covers for Inspiration

The first thing that you can do is look at other book covers for inspiration. While you should not there is no harm in taking inspiration from someone else’s book cover and then changing certain things to make your own. In fact, this is how many cover designers actually learn. If you can figure out what makes a good book cover, and then copy the design, then you can make your own design just as good.

Download Lots of Photos

You should also download lots of photos. If you are using stock photos, then downloading a lot of photos make sense. If you can figure out which photo works for the design that you are making, then you only have to buy that single photo. Luckily, most stock photos allow you to download the actual photo you are considering the watermarks on it and use it in your designed to see if it works. When you find the one that actually does work, you can buy it.

Install Layer Styles

You should definitely install Photoshop layer styles. Layers styles allow you to change the text into many different professional looking designs. There are lots of websites out there that have remade Photoshop layer styles already ready for you to install. All you have to do is look for them, download them and install them into your Photoshop library.

Visit 1001 Free Fonts

1001 Free fonts is a website you can go to to find the perfect font. You can download all of the fonts that are available, which by now is way more than 1001, or you can simply look for the font that you want and then download it for free. This is a terrific resource for book designers, and especially for those that are looking to save money on fonts. However, make sure that you are allowed to use the font in commercial projects.

Combine or Expand Stock Photos

Finally, if you cannot find the perfect design, then you may want to consider combining two different stock photos, or expanding the stock photo that you have. For example, if you find a photo that has the perfect background, but I have something else in their the you don’t want, then you can simply expand the photo using edit > transform > free transform and then dragging it out to get it to where you need it to be. This is a great way to use stock photos to make an original design.