Clearing the Confusion

If you’ve studied a market guide lately, you might have come away in total confusion.

These days you’re met with warnings like, “If you don’t like indies, don’t bother querying.” Or a company says it’s a “legacy” publisher.

What’s with all the new terminology?

Olden Days

When I started publishing thirty years ago, it was simple. You either went with a traditional publisher (they paid you, and they did 98% of the marketing) OR you got fooled into signing with a vanity press (you paid them to print your book, plus you had to do 98% of the marketing yourself.)

The choice was an easy one if you wanted to have a career where you made money.

It’s a New Ball Game

Today our choices are basically the same, in my opinion (except you have a few FREE self-publishing choices like Kindle). But the terminology has mushroomed as new companies tried to distinguish themselves with new titles. So you had independent publishers (“indies”) springing up, resentful of the old “vanity press” title. But for the most part, independent publishers require that YOU pay them and YOU do most of the marketing.

Are you confused by the terms e-pub, POD, Kindle, self-pub, Smashwords, and more? If so, Tracy Marchini has done a book called Pub Speak: a Writer’s Dictionary of Publishing Terms to clear up the confusion. While I haven’t read the book personally, I have seen several very good reviews of it. If I were starting out in publishing, I think I’d need a copy.

Pub Speak: A Writer’s Dictionary of Publishing Terms is a dictionary for both new and established authors that contains over 400 definitions, including:

  • - contract and royalty terms
    - ebooks and audiobooks
    - fiction and non-fiction
    - publishing terms
    - retailers, book clubs, wholesalers and distributors
    - social networking and collaborative publishing
    - trade associations, events and publications
    - writer’s organizations, awards and publications

This book just might bring an end to the confusion…for now, anyway!

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2 Responses to Clearing the Confusion

  1. Lucy Lantz says:

    I have recently heard of what is called hybrid publishing it appears to be a combination of self publishing and publishing with a publishing company. Do you have any info as to whether or not this is a good starting point for a new writer?

    • kwpadmin says:

      I’m pretty “old school,” and I just don’t want to hand over my money to anyone to print my book. I realize self-publishing is common now, and hybrid publishing is still self-publishing. Google the term “hybrid publishers” and you’ll find many articles by people who have tried it. I am probably not the best person to ask since I haven’t done it, but I am still leery of anyone who expects me to pay anything to get published. The publisher is supposed to pay YOU. It would depend on how much you enjoy marketing too.

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