I am openly a partisan of indie and self-publishing, but I will also agree that it is not for everyone. That is why I am pleased today to share the work of Jane Freidman. She's put together a poster sized infographic that details 5 different paths an author might take to publish their book.
The spectra of options extends from signing with a traditional publisher to dealing directly with KDP, Nook Press, and other ebookstore interfaces. Here's more from her post, with the infographic afterwards:
- Traditional publishing: where you query and submit to agents and editors in an effort to land a contract that pays an advance and royalties (and typically involves nationwide bookstore distribution).
- Partnership publishing: one might consider this the evolution of traditional publishing, where authors are positioned more as partners, receive higher royalties, but usually no advance.
- Fully-assisted publishing: the old “vanity” self-publishing model, where you write a check and get your book published without lifting a finger. I don’t recommend this, but it’s still a significant part of the self-publishing market, now dominated by Author Solutions.
- Do-it-yourself (DIY) publishing with a distributor: while this applies to either print or e-books, today this usually involves e-publishing your work (to reduce financial risk and investment involved with print), and using a service provider or distributor to reach all possible online retailers—and/or to provide some level of assistance.
- Do-it-yourself (DIY) direct publishing: when an author doesn’t put any middlemen between him and the retailer selling his books. Often, this option is combined with #4 above; for example, someone might sell direct through Amazon KDP, and complement it with distribution to all other retailers through Smashwords. This is possible because most distributors and online retailers of e-books work on a nonexclusive basis.
Click to enlarge the image. It's also available as a PDF.