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Until the internet upended the book publishing world several years ago, authors had little choice but to work through a traditional publisher. The old system worked okay for those fortunate enough to have literary agents and well-known names, but it was challenging for many other writers. Today things have changed enormously, and more options allow talented writers (and people with exciting things to say) to publish books successfully. So, if you've been thinking about writing a book and are willing to make the significant time commitment it requires, read on for the three options to consider.

The first one, as mentioned, is the traditional publishing model. In this scenario, you write a book that a publishing company and its staff produce. It's a challenge for many writers because you need to have a foot in the door (or have an agent who does) and go through a complicated submission process. The advantages include the publisher's professional editing team and cover designers. They may fund a marketing and publicity campaign for your book handled by in-house experts or contracted out to a book PR firm. But the system moves slowly, and it will take one to three years to publish your work.

The second option is do-it-yourself by self-publishing your work and taking responsibility for all aspects of the process. It's crucial to find professional book editing and have a cover designed by graphic artists who have the needed industry experience. Covers serve many functions today, including online ones, and the design must work well in all formats. If you're thinking eBook, there are many platforms you can find online but don't overlook formatting and the need to buy your ISBN (International Standard Book Number). It may sound like a small detail, but publishing without an ISBN is unwise.

The third and perhaps most exciting option is to investigate the possibility of using a publishing service. When you do, you'll retain control and ownership of your work but enjoy many of the expert services you'd have with a traditional publisher. You pay these services an upfront fee, and they take on your book project. It's customary for them to have your book ready to go in a time range of six months to a year. You'll later pay a royalty from your book sales, but you'll keep a higher percentage than you do with a traditional publisher. No two books and authors are alike, and you need to find the best fit.


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