Monday, 9 March 2009

The three tiers of publishing or can my book make any money?

Tier 1: The Big Boys
These are the big publishers such as Random House and Pan Macmillan. They are huge, international companies, made up of many smaller imprints. They print and sell hundreds of thousands of books each year.
  • Advantages: Writers have the best chance of selling enough books to make some serious cash.
  • Disadvantages: Very difficult to get placed and a writer will almost certainly need an agent.
Tier 2: The Independents
These are smaller companies such as Tonto Books and Chicken House. They are often local or operate in just one country. These publishers have a smaller budget, print and sell less books but still have a significant impact on the market.
  • Advantages: Writers have more chance of getting their book seen, since they don’t need an agent and can approach the publisher direct.
  • Disadvantages: Smaller budgets mean less book sales. Writers are much less likely to make enough money to give up their day job.
Tier 3: Self Publishing
Advances in traditional print technology, the development of digital printing and the Internet have made self publishing a viable option. However, the market is still new and the quality of the product produced can vary greatly.
  • Advantages: Gives niche writers a viable approach to getting their work into print.
  • Disadvantages: Writers must do everything! An effective marketing approach is essential if costs are to be recuperated.