Almost every author we have spoken to asks this question, and it’s a valid one. In today’s world of self-publishing authors have been provided unprecedented access to powerful tools which allow them to cut out the middle man and go straight to print. This has led to an industry revolution where it is a common philosophy that publishers are a dinosaur that will (and some think should) go extinct. However, self-publishing isn’t for everyone, and that’s where we come in.
Publishing is a multifaceted process that involves a large array of different skills both creative and business. In order to properly publish a book the following skills are required to make the book look good.
- Cover Design
- Interior Design
- Publishing Business Knowledge
- Website Building / SEO
- Printing / Distribution
If the author doesn’t have all these skills (and let’s be honest – virtually no one person does!) then they are going to need to pay for them. According to our experience and several books – like Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual – it costs somewhere in the vicinity of $10,000 to properly produce a book if you are relying on others to do all of these different tasks. It’s expensive to do it right, and that’s not fluff. Yes, there are many people who do it successfully for less; those are the folks who learn as many of these different parts of the process as possible. You can cut costs considerably by learning how to do some of these things yourself. At the very least, however, you must pay for editing (unless you know a very generous professional who will help you for free) and cover design unless you happen to be a graphic artist in your own right.
The place where the publishing company comes in is if you, the author, don’t have the money to invest in all of these things or the time and energy to handle learning about most of them. The value of a good publishing company is that they are going to absorb 100% of the overhead of publishing your book. They are investing literal thousands of dollars into your work, and they are providing all of the services I listed and more. They are also there to support (not replace) your marketing. They will know how to market your book and help you develop your author platform.
The long and short of it is that a publishing company can be an asset if an author doesn’t know the path well or doesn’t want to deal with it. If you are intimidated by that list of things that need to be done or wouldn’t even know where to start (and aren’t inclined to start reading a lot of books on the subject) then a publisher is a game changer for you. However, if you see that list and are mentally checking things off you know or can effectively do yourself then a publisher won’t do much for you. That said, if you are one of those authors, we do offer services you might be interested in such as editing, typesetting, cover design, and so on at competitive rates. And you have the peace of mind of knowing you are being served by a publishing company who has a name and reputation to maintain.