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Publishing In The 21st Century

By Expert Author: Douglas Walker

Not so long ago, once a writer had finished writing his or her book, it was time to present it to a publisher or agent. At this point, your book either sank or swam and if it was rejected, there was only what is snidely called 'vanity publishing'. This has all changed in the 21st Century.
Nowadays, most authors still try to have their book published in the traditional manner, but it can take so long. It normally takes about three months for a publisher to read the excerpt of manuscript sent to them.
If this were not bad enough, etiquette dictates that you only approach one publisher or agent at a time (in case you are accepted by more than one, which would mean that at least one agency or publisher had wasted his time).
This means that the poor author could waste a year on just four rejections! It happens all the time. A dozen rejections, and you are waiting for three years and for 1,000 days the anxious author is stuck, worrying and cash-strapped.
If an author dared to self-publish, that is, pay to have 500 copies printed to sell himself, he was lampooned as a 'vanity publisher'! As if wanting to get on with your life were something bad.
When someone buys a franchise, say, a McDonald's or a 7/11, no-one calls it a vanity business, so why is self-publishing called vanity publishing? It is meant to ridicule the small, unknown author.
This has all changed, or at least, is changing. Nowadays, authors have five routes they can take:
* the traditional route with a traditional publisher or agent
* publish their work as an eBook
* self-publish at no cost to themselves
* traditional 'vanity publishing'
* a mixture of the above
The least popular by far is traditional vanity publishing, whereby the author pays up front for several hundred books to be distributed or sold by himself. This might suit someone who has traced the family genealogy.
The traditional route with a traditional publisher or agent is very difficult to get on, unless the writer is already famous as a writer, a politician, sports or TV personality. Very, very few unknowns are accepted because the potential for financial loss by the publisher is too great.
Besides, more and more readers, especially the younger ones, prefer electronic reading devices now to physical books. Amazon sells more eBooks than paperbacks.
This means that many authors now choose to publish their work through Amazon. There are two routes a writer can take with Amazon and both are completely free to use:
* Kindle - Amazon's eBook publishing arm
* CreateSpace - Amazon's paperback publisher
These companies employ simple-to-use automated software to allow the author to upload the book and get it printed. You can upload the book to both companies in a morning or even in an hour or two if you are good at that sort of thing. Your book will be ready for sale as a paperback and as an eBook after it has been checked, which usually takes less than 72 hours.

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