Publishing … DYK

Happy Monday! It’s time for Did You Know.

Did you know getting published by one of the major publishing houses does not guarantee advertisement and big sales?

With the recent controversy over the sale of Simon & Schuster (one of the big 5) all over the news, a lot of truths about the publishing world have come out. One of these truths pertains to advertising budgets.

typewriter-12According to various news reports, the advertising budgets for books being published by any given house is restrictive, and only select books get promoted. This means that getting your book published by one of the “Big 5” does mean you will get book tours and national advertisement. Many authors find themselves still having to self-promote. This, of course, leads to the truth about sales.

Testimonies during the hearings suggested most books do not sell up to or over 1,000 copies. Authors who receive advances do not, of course, accrue royalties until sales satisfy the advance. One can imagine contracts are worded in such a way that failing to meet expected sales can have unfortunate financial and career consequences. While it is true that larger publishing houses have wider distribution, this may not equal the level of sales one expects, and that needs to be taken into consideration.

So, while wanting to be published by one of the Big 5 (soon to be 4?) is a worthy goal, authors should continue to assess the benefits of small and median presses as well. After all, Stephen King himself started out with indie presses decades ago.

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