Publishing a book in 2022 – 3 steps to book success

"How should I know?", an insecure debut author may respond. An already very experienced author, on the other hand, would say, "My book is thematically unique and is guaranteed to be a big sales success". When we talk to authors at tredition, we hear both equally often. Those who have worked on a book for months or years naturally have a very close attachment to their text. It is then difficult to judge one’s own work with some distance and self-criticism. So if you are thinking of publishing a book, you should give it to others to read before publication, from whom you can expect an honest assessment and constructive criticism. Of course, it is also important that you would accept criticism from these people – as we all know, that is not easy to do. After all, you yourself are the supposed expert in the field. But often this feedback helps for a good self-reflection, whether rework is still necessary. Ideal, of course, are "test readers" who are also experts in the subject of your book. Do you have e.g. If you write a fantasy novel, then it is best that someone who is enthusiastic about fantasy texts reads this text. With technical and non-fiction books, you may not find a 100% suitable expert test reader, but it often helps to have someone with an academic background take a look at it, who can then also give an assessment of the topic. In the field of scientific publications, test reading i.d.R. even mandatory. The sog. "peer review" is a quality feature of a scientific textbook. This is how you feel your way to the answers to whether you’re ready, and whether your book is really ready to be published.

If you are still in the very early stages of writing, you may find our article "How to find the ultimate book idea" valuable.

writing software

You can weigh up whether a so-called authoring software, d. h. a writing program especially for book authors, is an option for you. Many writing programs such as Papyrus or DramaQueen offer a wide range of functions for planning your own plot, building up the character constellation or a comprehensive style analysis of your book. We also have an article on "How do I find the right writing program?? – Authoring software in comparison".

Finishing the book

Many authors underestimate the work that is still necessary on the "home stretch" to book publication. Whether your test readers find inconsistencies or you find that the storyline, character constellations, and the way you’ve written your book are not quite right. a. are still in need of revision. Please let your text literally "mature." A few days after writing a long passage sometimes works wonders. Then read the text again and revise it for inconsistencies or spelling and punctuation errors.

Professional editing: A sensible investment

In the end, authors often can’t see the forest for the trees. This means that you can go through your book a hundred times and still find mistakes. By this we mean not only spelling mistakes, but also logical errors. Especially in complex plots with several parallel storylines, there is a risk that you will miss something. However, a reader will quickly notice such plot mistakes and be disappointed. Therefore, it is important to consider whether you should use a proofreader or an editor for the final work on your book. It is usually good for the linguistic and content quality of any book if you again ask an expert to look at the written word. If you want your book to be published by a traditional book publisher, you will usually have your book edited by the publisher anyway. In self-publishing, on the other hand, it is up to you to decide whether or not to have your book proofread. You will learn more about this below. By the way: At tredition, you can also book a proofreading or editing service if you wish.

At tredition, we don’t leave your book success to chance. You can use various tools to do a quality check on your own, z.B. a spell checker, automated typesetting and preview functions are even.

What do I want to achieve with my book?

Where can I publish a book?

Which publishing channel is the right one?

  1. You publish with a traditional book publisher
  2. You are self-publishing, i.e.h. you get your own ISBN.
  3. You publish through a self-publishing service provider

How to find a publisher?

Source: Own surveys

Publishers simply don’t have the time to sift through and read the multitude of book projects that are submitted. Popular licenses from abroad or follow-up books by regular authors more often find their way into the publishing program. So it is extremely difficult to find a publisher. If you still want to try your luck with a traditional book publisher, it depends on your application: On the one hand, you should check in advance whether your genre fits into the publishing program at all. On the other hand, most publishers do not want to receive a full manuscript, but a synopsis with a short project description and a strong partial manuscript of about 30 pages (as a pdf).

Tip on the synopsis

A synopsis should contain your contact information, the title or working title of the book, a short summary of the content, comparable to the blurb of the book, as well as a longer, two-page synopsis and an introduction of yourself. You can read about the formal requirements your manuscript should meet for the publisher application in our article "Submitting a Manuscript".

Self-publishing? A delicate mission

If you decide to self-publish your book on your own, this means first of all that you need an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). Without an ISBN, your book cannot be sold in bookstores. You can get an ISBN number from the ISBN agency for about 90 Euros. It is important that you apply for the ISBN before you have your book printed. Because the ISBN must be printed as a barcode on the outside of the book so it can be read by scanner checkouts.

The disadvantage of self-publishing is that you will have a hard time making your book available in bookstores. An ISBN is the basic requirement, but to actually be orderable in a bookstore, your book must be available from book wholesalers. However, these do not conclude supply contracts with self-publishers and small publishers. On the contrary: Wholesalers (so called. bar assortments) greatly reduce the number of books they stock, as it is only worthwhile for a few titles that are in good demand. Only titles with good sales figures are kept in the range or. only taken up by well-known authors and publishers.

Your only option is to sell the book yourself. A tedious and tough alternative.

Self-publishing service providers: a popular alternative

Finally, you have the option of publishing your book through a self-publishing service provider. In the past few years, more and more book authors have chosen this publishing method.

Source: Borsenverein (book publishers), own survey (self-publishing)

The number of new publications in self-publishing in the German-speaking market is currently growing at approx. 25% per year. The number of new titles from publishers decreases by an average of 5% per year. In self-publishing, authors publish in a dynamic, popular environment.

The big advantage is that you don’t have to take care of everything yourself as you do with self-publishing. Rather, the self-publishing service provider takes care of publishing on your behalf and selling your book. The services of the self-publishing service providers differ significantly in some cases. Only you can set your criteria for deciding on a self-publishing service provider. To evaluate, these criteria can help:

  • Material: Do you have a sufficient choice of paper types and bindings (softcover, hardcover)??
  • Distribution: Where will your book be available?? Everywhere in the book trade or only with on-line dealers.
  • Marketing: What tools are offered?
  • Support: Do you have. Contact if you have any questions?
  • Experience: How do other authors rate the supplier? Here you can find z.B. at trustpilot

Phase 2: Publish a book

Now it gets exciting! You have finished your book, have set yourself clear goals (such as gaining popularity with the book, sharing your knowledge or realizing your dream of having your own book) and want to get started! We explain what you need to know about publishing your book in a publishing house versus self-publishing, so that you can publish your book in an informed and uncomplicated way.

How does book publishing work??

In book publishing, the contents of a book are offered for sale or, in rare cases, for free. For this purpose, an author transfers the exploitation rights to a publisher or uses a self-publishing service provider who carries out the publication for the author. This ensures that a book is available for order in bookstores or is offered for download in e-book stores. The transfer of exploitation rights to publishers or self-publishing service providers can be exclusive or non-exclusive. In the latter case, an author can then publish his or her book through other means as well.

How long does it take to publish a book??

It depends on which way of book publishing an author takes. Self-publishing is the fastest, as an author decides when to publish and a book is available in bookstores within a few days. With a publisher, the decision alone as to whether a title should be published at all can drag on for several months. After a positive decision, it can take several years before a title is included in the program. In self-publishing, i.e. publishing without a publisher or self-publishing service provider, an author also has the reins in his own hands. However, they have to set up distribution channels to bookstores and online stores as well as printers themselves. The selection of these partners also takes time. The easier and safer way is definitely self-publishing through a good service provider.

What is the procedure of book publication?

  1. Write your book in peace and take your time.
  2. Check your book for spelling mistakes and logic.
  3. Have your book proofread or at least corrected.
  4. You decide on the way of the book publication, thus self publishing or classical book publisher. Self-publishing, which involves a lot of risk and effort, is not recommended.
  5. Depending on the publication method, you now create the cover and design the inner part. In self-publishing, you do it yourself. In the classic publishing house takes over the activities.
  6. Start the marketing. Even if you have published with a traditional publisher, you should not leave success to chance, and you should also activate your network to get your book noticed.

The process of publishing a book with a publisher

If you apply to a traditional book publisher, it can take many months before you receive a response. If you are happy with the results, you will be offered an author contract in the medium term. It regulates which rights are connected with the book publication, how much you receive as an author’s fee and which obligations you enter into. It is then important that you discuss thoroughly with the book publisher all open questions about how they will publish your book. This includes questions about the contract before you sign it. If you are asked to pay high four- to five-figure sums of money in advance, your alarm bells should be ringing. You may then have to deal with a printing subsidy publisher. You have not heard the term yet? In this article, we explain what is meant by a printing subsidy publisher.

A lengthy process

After you have taken a long time to find a publisher, you should be aware that the process of publishing a book in a publishing house can be very long. It is not uncommon for it to take another year or two before your book is actually published, even after you have received positive feedback from a publisher. This is mainly due to the fact that book publishers classically work with half-year programs, d.h. launch a new publishing program once in the spring and once in the fall.

When you are ready, an editor will start by reading and revising your book thoroughly. You have to expect that whole passages will be deleted or rewritten, or that your book will be published in a different language. that you yourself have to revise many passages of the book again. So your book will possibly be changed very much without you being able to prevent this.

After the text is revised, it is passed on to the production and typesetting department, where the text is professionally typeset with everything that goes with it: page numbers, paragraphs, headings, etc. After that, you may be asked to make further cuts or changes, and at the same time a proofreader will meticulously check the spelling and grammar of your text.

At the same time, the editor, marketing department and illustrators work on the selection of a book title, cover, etc. the complete design of the book cover. After that, your book can go to print and be published. This all sounds attractive, but it takes a long time, as described, and you have to be willing to not stick to your exact content to do it. If you don’t want that, the self-publishing route is probably better for you.

book publication with a self-publishing service provider

If you publish your book through a self-publishing service provider, the process is slightly different. The good news is: Self-publishing is usually much faster than traditional publishing. You don’t have to submit a synopsis, apply for a job, or wait months for a response. This does not mean, however, that self-publishing is a foregone conclusion or that the book will be published online. you should not pay just as much attention to a high level of professionalism of your book.

Simple book production without waiting

Self-publishing service providers usually offer authors the opportunity to submit a book directly online. In the case of tredition, this is quite simple. You are guided through the publishing process step by step. You decide yourself which tools you want to use. That are u.a. our cover designer, automatic book typesetting, imprint generator, and metadata optimizer. Depending on your book genre, the whole process is preconfigured. We suggest suitable book types (softcover, hardcover, e-book, large print) for your book project. There are always several. So you’re not just publishing your book as a z.B. softcover, but simultaneously or staggered in several book types. This gives the reader more choice. In addition, you will receive the appropriate paper types, binding types, sales prices, etc.v.m. recommended. If you want, you always just have to click on "Next" and not set anything yourself.

Generally in self-publishing, you have full freedom to decide on many more details than with a book publisher, such as the design of the cover, the structure of the content, the blurb or the sales price.

At tredition you can.a. You can book an editor or proofreader, have your cover designed by a graphic artist, or order a test print if you wish.

printing to order

Your book will be available on the book market within a few days, as we cooperate with all major book wholesalers. In concrete terms, this means that readers can order your book from a small bookstore as well as from chain stores and all the major bookstores on the Internet. Unlike traditional book publishers, self-publishing service providers like tredition work according to the print-on-demand principle. That means: as soon as a customer orders your book in the bookstore or online, it is printed and sent to the bookstore or online. at the mercy of your customers. This guarantees that you as a book author do not have to pay in advance for a print run that may not be sold in the end.

What does a book publication cost?

The costs for publishing or editing a book vary greatly at first glance. Self-publishing service providers also offer very different rates – from free to a few thousand euros. However, the total costs, incl. Editing, cover design, book typesetting, distribution, production almost the same regardless of the type of book publication. They are only distributed differently among the parties involved, i.e. publication in a traditional publishing house, self-publishing or self-publishing.

The costs of publishing a book vary. It depends on the way in which you publish a book. Most self-publishing providers offer you your publication free of charge. The services included are different and each author must decide which service components are important for the book project. However, it must be taken into account that authors must bear the costs of editing, proofreading and cover design (if you do not use the free cover designer from tredition) themselves. If your book is published by a publishing house, the publishing house bears the costs.

What do you earn with a book?

The earnings of a book author on a book are very different. It depends on how many copies and at what retail price they are sold. In a classic book publishing company, the author’s fees are between 4 and 12% of the after-tax royalty. This depends on the popularity of the author, the genre and the sales price. In self-publishing, these fees are higher, but it must be taken into account that an author must also previously bear the costs of editing, cover design and book typesetting themselves. A classic publishing house edition starts at ca. 2.500 copies. With a sales price of 15,00 € before taxes, an author therefore earns between 1.400 and 5.200 €. So one should be realistic when planning self-employment as an author. You need enough financial leeway to start and, above all, the time to write a growing number of book titles.

According to popular opinion, there are no costs for a publisher. Authors even receive an advance, which the publisher "advances" to you. There are opinions that demonize all publishing services where authors are expected to contribute to the cost of book publishing. This opinion is too divided into black and white. Scientific or art publishers publish books that have only a small readership of. Without the participation of an author or sponsors, these projects cannot cover their costs. The term "printing cost subsidy publisher" should therefore be used reflectively in relation to the environment of the publishing house. For the publication of a scientific work, a few thousand euros are not frivolous. For the publication of a poetry book definitely already!

Author fees are difficult to compare. For this we have written a comprehensive author fee guide.

Your rights and obligations as a book author

When you write and publish a book, you are a book author. Congratulations! You can be proud of this. From a purely fiscal point of view, you are working as a freelancer and must also claim your income from book sales for tax purposes. What you have to consider in detail, you can find here: "Tax knowledge for authors. As an author, you are automatically the creator of your book, and with that comes corresponding rights. You can find everything you need to know here: "Copyright for Authors".

Phase 3: Your book is published – now what??

This phase is at least as exciting for you as the book publishing process itself. Because now your book is really available on the market and you may also get first feedback from readers about your book! The important thing is: After publication, the work is not yet done, d.h. Don’t sit back, but keep a close eye on the response your book gets, how sales develop, what reviews your book receives, and how your genre and subject environment evolves in the book marketplace. All this can be helpful, for example, to respond to reader comments, to enter into a lively exchange with your readers, to engage in conversation, and to further promote your book.

Marketing your book: The nuts and bolts

If you publish your book with a traditional book publisher, it will be featured in the appropriate publisher’s preview and ideally also by the book publisher’s sales force in bookstores. Nevertheless, you can’t assume that your book will immediately be seen in the windows of numerous bookstores. In addition, book marketing is from the last century. Book buyers make their decision to buy a book based on completely different factors than the presence in bookstores or recommendation of a bookseller.

In self-publishing, you can easily control the really important factors that make purchasing decisions. So, to stand out from the crowd, it is advisable to use many measures. There are approx. 2.5 million. Available book titles on the German-language book market. Every year approx. 350 million. Books sold. That means that each deliverable book sells on average only 140 times a year! A book, no matter how good, does not sell on its own, but must be marketed well.

Average sales per available book
Books sold per year 350.000.000
Deliverable books 2.500.000
Copies sold per deliverable book 140

Source: Own survey

If, after a few months, your published book does not sell as well as you had hoped, there can be many reasons for this. Maybe your blurb and cover are not targeting the right audience? Or you’ve set a retail price that doesn’t match the going rate in your genre?

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