Puesto de Invitado: A Session on Book Publishing by Aniruddha Pathak

Hello guys, this is Aniruddha Pathak this side!

Note: This is not a demotivating post, so kindly don’t take it other way. This is a post written with an intention to let you know the spotlights of the literature world.

So many of the aspiring writers here dream to get their book/novel/novella published someday; many of you have asked me or other Authors about the same too.


Getting on the track: there are generally three types of publishing.

Traditional Publishing

You write a book, send a manuscript to the publishing house (yourself or via an agent), you wait in queue with several others for getting an approval (it may take you years to get you one), and if the manuscript is found having potential, you get published with a little money to be expensed. You get a check in advance of the royalties, the amount of which you have to return to the publishing house. Your royalty per book sold may range from 5%–35% per book sold (price as mentioned on the cover of the book), depending on the influence that you would have on marketing. (Royalty is the money you get after selling one copy. If it is 10% and your book costs Rs. 100, you get Rs. 10 per book sold.) Plus, there is an option called ‘hybrid’ where the author is given a choice to buy some of their books for marketing purposes or invest half the amount required for printing the books.

Traditional publishing might not offer the debut authors with advance payments. The mechanism may go like this: It is an advance against royalties; therefore, it is not a down payment, it will be set off against the royalties due. Which means, if you got 1,00,000/- advance, and your royalties amount to 70,000/-, the publisher swallows the loss of 30k. If your royalties amount to 120k, you will be given a further 20k, with the 100k set off.


Vanity Press

A publishing house where you pay for getting Published. You pay the publishers with a certain amount of money if they approve your manuscript. This is one of the fastest way to get published, and also with fewer efforts; as Vanity presses generally don’t care about quality of the content but only the quantity of the money they receive. On a general note, you get 50% – 70% royalty behind each copy sold.

Getting published with 300 paperback copies may cost you around Rs. 30,000 minimum, marketing not included. (More the copies selected, more the money put in.) Not a recommended way if you ought to be really recognized as an author.


Self publishing

You are the publisher here. You contact a self-publishing house, send them the details of the book they ask for, and publish the book if your book gets selected for printing. You are the only one who will be funding everything here—straight from publishing the book to marketing it. There are many publishing houses which are self-publishers, and would give you a good option if you want to get published yourself.

Nowadays, Print of Demand is highly employed by the self publishers. Hence, the cost of your book may not be in your control.

Again, only go into it only if you think your book has potential to sell, anyway, there’s a high possibility that you won’t be receiving the money back to you that you spent on publishing the book.


There are two more in the league—The Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Print on Demand (For example Pothi.com).

Amazon KDP lets you publish your own eBook on Amazon, offering you a range of royalties ranging from 35% – 75% per copy sold. In KDP, you are the publisher and the cost for publishing your eBook is equal to null. Only marketing of the book is what you need to do.

Whereas, Print on Demand is an option where you ask a provider to convert your eBook into paperback, where you decide the number of copies that you need. The amount to be paid is a little higher here though.


Now, you might be thinking there are these nicest ways to get published. But, there’s a drawback here.


If suppose you write a novel, with not-so-good grammar, casual writing and not proofread well, and you won’t opt for traditional publishing but any of the other two; and you get published. But tell me one thing, why would (any other reader out from your family and friend circle) me or anyone else spend money for buying your book? Because it has a good story?

Nah, I won’t, at least. Not even if I am your friend. Bad grammar and improper punctuations are a big NO-NO…no matter how great the story is. It irks a reader so much.

Plus, don’t think of getting published unless you think your writings have potential to reach to a bigger world. Get feedback, not from your closed ones, but from a stranger, a reviewer, a critic or a published author (whose book is written well).

Accept the reviews, don’t rant about it or feel distressed.

Re-re-re-re-re-re-rewrite and re-re-re-re-re-re-read your own works. Write, read and repeat until you finally reach an outcome where you are all set to publish yourself.

But, before getting published, compulsorily hire an editor to edit your work. Most of the upcoming authors neglect that thing, but it IS an inevitable part of getting published. Hiring an editor doesn’t mean that you are bad at writing, NO. Editors are those people who would add a glister to your work with all their dedication. (P.S.: I am talking about good editors.)

The second most important thing is: getting connected with your readers. Be humble, share your thoughts to them, take part in discussions, put your views, enhance your ideas…give out a little of your works and ask for feedback, accept the views and improve yourself. That’s all.

This might come out as harsh, but do not even think of getting published—by any means—if you don’t put efforts at grammar, framing, and punctuations of the story.

Your book would sell in your own house and among your friends, but one bad review from the masses can easily drag you down from the clouds. That! Straight and simple. Give a good piece of literature to the world, writer comrades.



© Aniruddha B.Pathak

Exclusively formulated for Banaja Prakashini’s blog.


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