Over the weekend, I got a number of enquiries around my book and the journey of publishing a book after my book won the ‘Best Professional Title 2023’ award. Most people don’t know this, but getting your book published by a traditional publisher is a lot harder than self-publishing or hybrid publishing

Picture with the award and certificate

As an author who went down the hybrid publishing route for my 1st book – Empowering Millennials – I have experienced both pathways

📚 If you’re thinking of publishing your book, you need to know your options! 📚

🟢 Self-Publishing:

    • You write your book.

    • You control everything: cover, editing, pricing.

    • You publish on platforms like Amazon.

    • You earn higher royalties per sale.

    • You can opt to get your book crowd-funded or all expenses will be out of your own pocket

    • Book can be out within 3 months once Manuscript is ready

    • If you print 1000 books, you need to find a place to store 1000 books

    • If you store it at home, someone in your family is bound to complain about the books taking up space

🟡 Hybrid Publishing:

    • You write your book.

    • You find a service provider who helps with editing, design etc

    • You contribute to costs (1000 books printed = close to 5 figure cost)

    • You have more control than traditional publishing

    • Quality of book depends on quality of team by service provider

    • You can opt to get your book crowd-funded

    • If you print 1000 books, you need to find a place to store 1000 books

    • If you store it at home, someone in your family is bound to complain about the books taking up space (speaking from experience lol)

    • Book can be out within 3 months once Manuscript is ready

    • Example: Empowering Millennials

    • Fun fact: I never thought I could qualify

🔵 Traditional Publishing:

    • You write your book.

    • Publishers outside Asia, you find an agent. In Asia, you have to reach out to them directly with a really good ‘Book Pitch’

    • Rigorous selection process of the book. You pitches to big publishers. You are lucky if they show interest in your book. They only take you on if the entire team (editors, designers, sales team etc) feels there is scope for the book to do well.

    • They handle editing, design, and distribution and price of the book. You can request for changes but they have the final say.

    • Traditional publishers have established distribution channels, making it easier for books to reach physical and online bookstores. They also handle negotiations with retailers. Publishers have better connections with book stores and can get your book to multiple book stores

    • Publishers can sell to other imprints overseas and make your books available in bookstores (For instance, my books are available in UK, Australia, Malaysia, and India, etc)

    • You get an advance first. Paid out in stages. Then royalties. Paid out yearly.

    • Books are stored in publisher’s warehouse

    • Authors have a deadline to meet and getting the book out can take anywhere from 6 months to a year for it to be printed and in the bookstores.

    • Credibility: Being published by a reputable publishing house (e.g. Penguin Random House) can lend credibility to an author’s work. It may be easier to get reviews, media coverage, and bookstore placements.

    • Example: Engaging Millennials, The Millennial Leader, Marketing to Millennials

That being said, the success of a book depends on a multitude of factors and isn’t dependent on which publishing route you take

Which route appeals to you the most?

About the Author Vivek Iyyani
Vivek Iyyani is the Founder of Millennial Minds, a content marketing agency that is specialised in marketing to Millennials & Gen Zs. He is the author of Engaging Millennials (Singapore Book Awards Best Professional Title Top 5 Nominee 2022), The Millennial Leader (Winner of Singapore Book Awards Best Professional Title 2023) and Marketing to Millennials. He has been invited to share on top news channels such as CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Vasantham and Tamil Murasu on the topic of Millennials & Multi-generational Workforce.
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