Traditional Publishers are not the best way to be published for most authors.
Traditional publishers and publishing in general is a topic that comes up often at Star Print Brokers. The publisher can make millions for authors. But, even bestselling authors barely make a living wage, as reported in the Guardian. We change that!
A friend recently asked us about a finding a literary agent for a friend who wrote their autobiography. While we don’t typically work with literary agents, there are many on LinkedIn and Twitter. But, more importantly, which path should authors take to publish? Why are traditional publishers not the answer for most authors?
Here is an overview of the different paths that authors take when thinking about publishing:
Traditional Publishers make money, but do authors?
This is why working with traditional publishers is usually not the way to go. Please see this article from the Guardian:
Publishers are paying writers a pittance, say bestselling authors — Philip Pullman, Antony Beevor and Sally Gardner call for fairer share of profits, as survey shows full-time writers earn below minimum wage.
Back to the literary agent question as it relates to traditional publishers
Typically, if a literary agent is interested in an author’s work, they will represent the author to traditional publishers. The key is having a literary agent take an interest. They don’t usually take on authors unless the person is famous or their story has mass appeal. If you are famous, I would indeed recommend that you use a literary agent, or send your manuscript directly to one of the top publishers.
Everyone has a story. While autobiographies are interesting to friends and family, unless you or your life is somehow extraordinary, the autobiography will fail to have mass appeal. Traditional publishers first and foremost want to sell books; books that already have a market. Authors want to not only be paid, but be paid well for their story.
If you are not famous, we suggest printing a handful of on-demand soft cover books and send copies to agents, unless you are ready to print a larger run; then come to Star Print Brokers! Hardcover on-demand books are not well-bound. They are side-stitched. The glue is better these days for soft cover POD books, but I have some older books that are a semblance of loose pages held together with a rubber band. Do you have books like these?
Print On-Demand (POD) means modest royalties for authors, on a small quantity of poorly ‘printed’ books
There are also print on demand services. They print a few copies at a time. They will print short runs too, but the printing is mostly toner on paper, not ink. Toner smears. The binding is poor, and the unit cost is high. If an author is not paying for production, they get a royalty which is very low, as the bestselling authors say in the Guardian article in the above link.
Star Print Brokers is the way that authors can maximize profit with books they can trust to always be quality
Enter Star Print Brokers. We are for those who want to print high-quality books. But, because we print on press, our minimum is 1,000 hardcover or 2,000 soft cover books. We print (and design) a lot of coffee table books, art books, photography books, cookbooks, novels and trade books, and children’s books. We are especially skilled printing books where color is critical.
A client of ours recently won an award from Gourmand, for a book we designed and printed. It is also up for a James Beard award. The Art of Mead Tasting and Food Pairing. And read the author’s testimonial.
We print books for self-publishers greater profit, not vanity publishing!
Book Packagers services are costly, offering few physical books
Beware of book packagers. They are the folks that an author may pay literally thousands of dollars to edit, design a cover, index, layout, market, or perform any number of book-related services. Most of these things can be done by the author — or a service provided elsewhere — at a much lower cost. In the end, the author usually is provided only 1 to 50 books, and they are on-demand books.
Conclusion about traditional publishers
Yes, you can make millions with a book published by traditional publishers. However, it is unlikely if you are a new author. And as attested to by bestselling authors, they barely make a living wage for all their effort.
Star Print Brokers is different. We know of no one who has printed a 1,000 or more books with us and has the lot sitting in their basement! More often that not, authors come back to us for second, third, even 11 or 12 runs! There is no guarantee on book sales, but we have many, many references that you can call to verify the quality of our book printing, design, and services. They’ve done it! So can you!