As time goes on it seems as if tradition becomes that of the past , this includes publishing and how people do it.
When I first started writing my first book I was sixteen and I was writing just for the sake of writing. When I was seventeen I had finally finished my book and decided that I wanted to have it published. I had no idea where to start or how to go about it, so naturally I took to the internet to search how exactly I could do it. I knew a little about the process but not enough.
The traditional approach to publishing starts with you sending a query letter to a publishing agent, most publishing companies will not even speak to you without an agent contacting them representing you and your book.
So, I started writing my query letters, and selected three agents that I thought would best represent my book (my book is a memoir). I summarized my book in a detailed (but not too detailed) format and included basic information about myself, I then submitted the query letter through email. Most agents prefer you to email them your queries and if you think the most convenient way to send a summary of your book through Microsoft as an attachment think again. Agents do not open attachments as it could be spam or have viruses.
Out of the three agents that I sent out queries too a grand total of zero responded. I was not surprised because if you didn’t know, most agents are extremely unresponsive. So I sent my query letter to an additional 3 agents. Out of those 3 only one responded. I then began to talk with the agent about the direction of my book but found myself only getting frustrated and annoyed so I decided that I wasn’t going to spend any more time waiting for my book to be released. I decided to self publish.
I found a press that would produce my book in paperback and it took a short time to have my manuscript ready for print. I hired graphic designers to work on the layout and front and back cover. I did end up having to fire one of the graphic designers but that’s not the point. The point is I was able to be more hands on with the direction of my book self publishing than I would’ve been with going through a company which controls almost everything.
I hired photographers to take photos of me for the book and for ads and promotional use and then went to work on advertising and my marketing approach. I paid for ads and was also able to keep track of how much people I was reaching through my approach. I ended up reaching hundreds of thousands through advertisement and even though it cost quite a lot it was all worth it.
When my book was finally out it was released as eBook and paperback and within a couple days my book was at number six on the Amazon Best Selling Memoirs list .
With self publishing you definitely pay more money and put in more effort, but at the same time you can control everything much more than you would by publishing traditionally. So yes the traditional way of publishing is pretty effective but I find self publishing to be the best if you really want to control every element of releasing your book.