30-Day Writing Challenge by Ingramspark – Day 28

Learn more about the book publishing industry.

At some point, every serious writer will have to learn a little bit about the business of books. The publishing industry is always changing.

The good news? You have OPTIONS.

Gone are the days where traditional publishing was the only path to becoming an author. With the evolution of self- and hybrid publishing, there are more options than ever to have YOUR voice heard.

(Copyright/Credit – Ingramspark)

I started my writing and publishing journey a decade ago. I had an idea to write a book. I was ready. I didn’t even think about the publishing-business side of it. I knew I wanted to publish it. Back then, I was new to the world of publishing. With the process, I thought I had to just write the book, then look for a literary agent to represent me or go directly to a traditional publisher. But little did I know that the process was going to be much harder.

Once I had finished with my manuscript, I started looking at literary agents and traditional publishers. I found several and ended up sending my manuscript to them via post and email. After weeks of waiting, all my responses from them were ‘no’ and ‘sorry’. I was disheartened. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with my story. Deep down, I knew it was good. After much heavy tears with many boxes of chocolates and red wine, I brought myself back up and carried on searching for more literary agents and publishers to take on my work. I believed in my work and I wasn’t going to give up. And that was when I came upon a self-publishing company online. At that time, I didn’t know anything about self-publishing. All I knew was the traditional route. I researched on the self-publishing company and realized that there was another way to publish my manuscript. However, I would have to pay for the service, which was understandable considering it’s called ‘self-publishing’. It might not have been the route I had hoped to take, but at least my book would be out there.

After much research and browsing around, I eventually found a self-publishing company I felt was right for me. They were friendly, extremely helpful, and were there to help me with marketing tips. The turnaround time to have my book ready was quick. In within a month (which included edits and design) my book was officially ready to go out into the world where it was available with online retailers. At first, I didn’t know what to expect of my book. As much as I believed in my story, it was hard getting the word out. I did all I could on social media platforms. Sales were slow to begin with, but it picked up later on.

After my first book, I thought about possibly reaching out to literary agents and traditional publishers again for my second book. But something was stopping me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through the heartache again and have others not believing in my work. Then it hit me. Why don’t I have my own publishing house? And that was how the idea of Puiyin W.L. Publishing® came about. It suddenly felt right to have my own publishing house.

With Puiyin W.L. Publishing®, it’s traditional publishing with a twist. Puiyin W.L. Publishing® is about the Chinese Asian culture combined with the western world. If I were to take on an author, I would want them to be themselves and publish what is theirs rather than make major changes to their works.

Self-publishing has evolved over the decade. There are just as many successful self-published authors as there are traditionally published. In my opinion, I think writers/authors want to take the traditional route because they want to see their books on the shelves in the bookstores rather than just online. But even self-published authors can get their books on the shelves. It’s all about strategy.

I don’t regret taking the self-publishing route, because I got to publish my book the way I wanted it to be published. There is no right or wrong in which route you take. It’s all down to what feels right for you…and only you. You could even go down both routes.