Publishers Weekly

Paths to Publication

How do you get your book into stores and in front of readers? Let’s talk about the path to publication. What is traditional publisher? Writers Digest’s definition is, “Traditional book publishing is when a publisher offers the author a contract and, in turn, prints, publishes, and sells your book through booksellers and other retailers. The publisher essentially buys the right to publish your book and pays you royalties from the sales.” You do not pay up front to have your book produced but you also do not earn all the profits. A publisher shoulders the risk and can distribute it even further with media coverage and reviews. The publisher will use their expert knowledge in book editing, production, marketing and publicity to sell the book for you. And your book will more likely get on the shelf at bookstores. Traditional publishers include the big five, New York publishing houses. (like Scholastic) and small presses & University presses. 

When embarking on your journey as an author or illustrator, you will want to pitch your work to the right publisher or to the right agent. This takes time to practice your craft and research which topics are a good fit for your genre. You can learn more about how to practice you writing and illustration skills with the books list from this blog. 

Once you have your work ready to send out, you will need to research which publisher is the best fit for your book. Visit your local bookstore or library to see what is currently being offered. The books you grew up reading are different than the books on the market now. Visit the Publishers Weekly to research which house or agent is the best fit for you. SCBWI has a publication called THE BOOK, which has loads of useful information for members, as well. Another source book is the CHILDREN'S WRITERS & ILLUSTRATOR MARKET.

I should also mention self-publishing. With this route you can choose to pay for a fully assisted publishing service. The cost varies depending on the services offered and can be beneficial for those who have no desire to handle the business side. The Author receives better royalties than a traditional publisher contract. However, with the following Do-It-Yourself options you may earn more: EBooks-only Publishing Services such as, Print-on-Demand (POD) Services or Traditional Print Runs.

For more details on the different paths to publication, Jane Friedman, CEO and Co-Founder of Open Road Integrated Media has created a very helpful info graphic that you can link to here.