Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Publishing Industry

When it comes to the publishing industry, I have pretty much seen it all: self-publishing, traditional publishing, and everything in between. I self-published my first book in high school, had a book traditionally published in college, and started my own publishing company in grad school. I think about how much I didn’t know about the industry when I was just a starry-eyed high schooler writing a book, and when I talk to people about publishing now, there are misconceptions about the industry I hear over and over.

 

10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About the Publishing Industry

When it comes to the publishing industry, I have pretty much seen it all: self-publishing, traditional publishing, and everything in between. I self-published my first book in high school, had a book traditionally published in college, and started my own publishing company in grad school. I think about how much I didn’t know about the industry when I was just a starry-eyed high schooler writing a book, and when I talk to people about publishing now, there are misconceptions about the industry I hear over and over.

1. There are usually between 600,000 and 1,000,000 book published per year in the US. Yes, that’s a lot of books. And that number keeps growing. Because of the ease of self-publishing allowing more authors to share their work and new niches and topics to write about all the time, there is a big market for book publishing. Also, of course, the internet has been a tremendous help in helping people to connect with publishers or learn about the publishing industry on their own to get their books out there.

Of course this means that there is big competition for authors, which brings us to the next pointl…

2. You Probably Won’t Sell a Million Copies unless you’re a Kardashian or Trump or some other non-authory celebrity. The point is new authors so rarely make that million books sold mark that it is like winning the lottery. That is why book sales are really not the best marker to determining an author’s success. Instead, book reviews are a better indicator. Amazon has been doing a good job of keeping phoney reviews out of their website, going so far as to actually sue those who were being paid to review books. While not all book reviews are created (they are based on someone’s opinion), if a book has some good reviews on Amazon, that is a pretty good indicator that it is a good book.

3. Being Published Doesn’t Automatically Make You Famous.

As you may have guessed by the stats of just how many people publish books per year, being an author does not equate to fame. I learned the hard way. I self-published a book in high school, and when the paparazzi didn’t start stalking me, I just assumed that it was because I was self-published, and there is a stigma around self-publishing. So, I wrote a new book and started sending queries to publishing houses. When my book was picked up by one, I figured this was my big break. Again, no dice. At least not in the earth shattering can’t walk down the street sort of fame people imagine authors having. I did get to be in some newspapers and magazines and do readings at Barnes & Noble, so that is a nice mini taste of ‘the good life.’ If authors are prepared realistically about their chances of fame (which are slim to none) they will really appreciate the smaller things (like local readings and signings or when someone actually Tweets about your book.)

4. You Probably Won’t Be Published by the Big Four book publishers. And even if you are, if you’re not famous, you’re probably not going to have a bestseller.

The big four are so selective. They’re like ivy league colleges, only there’s a lot more competition and it’s even tougher to get in. An agent can help, but you really need to have a large following on social media and be pretty notable. These companies have different tiers of authors and if you are a new author who is lucky enough to be published, you won’t get the same treatment as big name authors. You will have to do a lot of work and promotion yourself, because having that publisher’s big name behind you is your reward. Oh, and about author advances, you probably won’t get one.

5. Books Aren’t Dying.

Don’t believe everything that you read. Contrary to what some will have you believe, the book industry is not dying. It is changing, but not dying. There may not be as many brick and mortar bookstore, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t reading books. In fact, more people read today than ever.

6. Self-Publishing is Not Ruining the Publishing industry.But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a stigma attached to it. Don’t let that discourage you, though, because there are many quality self-published books.

Self-publishing is introducing more and more people to the literary world. That is bringing more books of varied topics to the world and spreading many new ideas not previously talked about. It’s actually pretty incredible to think just how amazing all these new ideas are and how they are shaping the world, especially through their ease of sharing online.

7. The Publishing Industry Unveils More New Products than Any Other Industry Every Year.

You probably don’t think of it, but every book is a product. It must be designed, produced, manufactured, delivered…they are products like any other. Can you imagine if there were 600,000–1,000,000 new models of cars released in the US every year? I don’t think we would have room for them.

8. E-books are Not Replacing Paperback Books.

There are two types of people: eBook readers and paperback readers…or are there? Many readers like to use both. eBooks are great when you are traveling and do not want to carry an obscene amount of books, but can anything ever really compare to the sweet smell of a nice paperback? For a while, eBooks were looking like they were going to outdo paperbacks, but that trend seems to be reversing, as the two forms are now pretty well matched.

9. Book Publishers are Not Publicists.

Back in the pre-Internet era, a lot of publishers would do a lot of publicity for authors, and they still do. BUT now it is also on the author to get publicity and promote themselves. Most authors become their own brand-like entity, forming powerful social media personalities and promoting that way. That is something a publisher, no matter how good, just could not do for an author. Heck, some authors are even known to hire their own publicist in addition to their publisher. But the publisher does give something self-publishing does not provide: notoriety.

10. There are Many Ways to Write and Publish a Book.There’s not just self-publishing. There’s not just big four publishing. There are also indie publishers (like GenZ Publishing), where you get the best of both worlds of self publishing and big publishing. See, with an indie publisher, you have more creative control than you do at a big publisher, and the avoidance of being labeled a self-published author. With an indie publisher you are a published author.

By Morissa Schwartz

Morissa Schwartz is owner of GenZ Publishing (GenZPublishing.org). She is an author, Guinness World Record Breaker, singer, and proud semi-colon supporter. Morissa has a website at MorissaSchwartz.com. You can follower her on Twitter @MorissaSchwartz and on Instagram atMorissa_Schwartz.

Sources:

http://outthinkgroup.com/the-10-awful-truths-about-book-publishing/

http://www.authorspublish.com/10-common-misconceptions-about-the-publishing-world/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2015/10/18/amazon-sues-1114-fake-reviewers-on-fiverr-com/

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=books+published+per+year

http://mashable.com/2013/01/16/e-books-vs-print/

The GenZ Podcast with Zoo University

In this special episode of the GenZ Podcast, host and Voice of the New Generation, Morissa Schwartz, interviews Lee and Mike Goldstein, creators of Zoo University, a coloring book for adults. Followed by some exclusive information about GenZ’s books and upcoming releases!

Check out Zoo University here!

Be sure to check out their hilarious coloring book for adults! 

 

 

*This episode is sponsored by BHBodyWraps.com.

A Booked Weekend

It all started Saturday Morning with an Indie author panel at the Museum for Early Trades followed by partaking in the Madison Storyteller’s Festival in the afternoon. That night was the June Bug Festival in Metuchen, NJ. The very busy weekend was concluded on Sunday with a reading and workshop at Barnes & Noble.

6/11; 10:00 AM, Indie Author Panel

6/11; Afternoon, Madison Storyteller Festival

6/11; Evening; June Bug Festival

6/12; Afternoon; Barnes & Noble Reading & Workshop

 

 

 

Self-Publishing VS Publishing with a Publisher (a la GenZ)

There is a war going on, and it involves clashing publishing forms: self-publishing versus publishers. I have published books both ways, and in my experience, there is a clear winner. Before revealing that winner, let me break down each process.
imagesI self-published my first book in high school. All expenses were my own, but all profits (often not the case) were also my own. I hired someone to format the book on a freelancing website and worked many hours perfecting that book. Once it was time to publish, that was on me too. I published through CreateSpace, and the process was tough navigating through all the parameters to successfully publish a book, from figuring out proper formatting for book size to eBook conversion. After that, I had to promote and market my book. I was so excited that I was finally a published author, only….it felt like no one else saw it that way. Being self-published gave me no notoriety. I remember how embarrassed I was when I called a bookstore hoping to do a reading and they said that self-published authors were not allowed to do readings at their shop. Every other bookstore I contacted said the same thing. But it wasn’t just the shops who did not take my self-published work seriously. People had the attitude that it was “cute” that I published my own book at such a young age, but none went “wow.” Not to mention my profits or lack thereof. Being my own publisher meant that I had few resources to promote my book, which meant fewer sales for me. That is why when I wrote my next book, I knew it needed to be published with a publisher.

Finding a publisher is not an easy task, but I was fortunate enough to be signed by VIP Ink Publishing, a mid-sized publisher out of Louisiana. The week after I was12048720_1027236097307333_1065782161_n signed, I was asked what I wanted my cover to look like, and then VIP created that cover. A short while after later, I was sent my files after they were carefully edited and formatted. Following that, I received my proof in the mail. The process was already better than self-publishing. I did not have to worry about how to hire someone to format my book or how to edit it properly. VIP did that for me. The best part was when I told people that my book was being published by VIP, I got the ‘wow.’ Bookshops approached me about having signings there. While of course there are profits to share with VIP and expenses that had to be recouped, I and my book are in much better shape than they were when I self-published. I have less worries and more notoriety.

That is why I started GenZ Publishing. I was fortunate to have VIP publish my book, but there are too few companies out there that publish authors like myself.

You pave the way for the future with the pride of having someone else believe enough in your work to publish it.

The main criticism that GenZ gets is that we recoup a portion of expenses from authors’ royalties. Those writers would have to pay every cent out of pocket if they were self-publishing while not10456267_1102860849748783_370665980013448454_n getting the recognition or having the reach that we have. Another criticism we get is that we require our authors to purchase author copies of their books, but this is for the simple fact that we want them to do those bookstore readings that I didn’t get to do when I was self-published. I want them to walk into a university or bookshop with their book copies in hand and sign them for readers, so that they can get the amazing pride that comes with being a published author. So to answer the above question: publishing wins out over self-publishing in every way possible. Nothing beats a reader approaching you after a reading and stating how much you inspire them.

Being published by a publisher, even if there are not great profits for the author, paves the way for future opportunities. Young people and new writers do not seem to command the respect that many deserve for their writing unless they are published by someone other than themselves. Anyone can self-publish anything, no matter how grammatically incorrect, poorly formatted, or weak their content is. A first grader can self-publish their spelling test, but a publishing company wants to be successful and makes sure that each book is something that the world would like to read.

And that is why I write.

Best,

Morissa Schwartz

GenZ Publishing Founder

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GenZ Updates

There are so many exciting opportunities occurring within Morissa’s company GenZ Publishing. Here is an outline of some of them and how you can get involved:

  • GenZ Publishing has launched an exciting new contest to find the ‘Writer of the Generation.‘ It could be you!
  • If you need writing motivation, you can read GenZ’s list of Five Reasons to Write.
  • GenZ Publishing is getting ready to launch our book catalog in the new year. If you would like to see your name in our books, to be featured on our website, or even to have a guest spot on the GenZ Podcast, this is your chance for a limited time!
  • You can also find GenZ Publishing on social media for exciting opportunities, community, and writing inspiration on Twitter @GenZPub and on Facebook GenZ Publishing. Become a part of the new generation of publishing and spread the word!

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