The ideal situation for an author was and still is to be picked up by a publisher, paid an advance and handled, in the most positive sense of the word.
However, most writers have to face the reality that publishers would rather bet on a sure thing than the long shot of discovering the next Hemingway.
So if you're not a starlet that got arrested for drunk driving or a major league player who shot... you get the picture - then getting a publisher can be a long road plagued with disappointments, not to mention the blood suckers along the way who promise distribution and "guaranteed" success for just a few measly thousands of dollars.
I'm not recommending you stop the quest for a major (or smaller) publisher, all I suggest is that you stack the odds in your favor and that's where print on demand and self publishing come in.
Put yourself in the publishers shoes for just a minute, they are in it for the money, and even if they truly love good literature they need to make a profit to stay in business. And so should you.
So what is an aspiring author/Publisher to do?
Your goal will be to create a market and a following for your book (s) showing the publishers you are a viable commodity worth betting on. You need to approach self publishing with your head not your heart, just as the big publishers do.
If you do it correctly you could attract a publisher or alternatively become a successful one along the way. A far better prospect than sitting idle and collecting rejection letters.
Remember: If you get a publisher to bite – a legitimate publisher is one who pays you not the other way around no matter how they explain it – I recommend you go for it, let them deal with the minutiae and you concentrate on the next great America novel.
Your first order of business is to calculate your war chest and reduce your expenses to a minimum; you may need the funds later for promotion and other fruit bearing purposes.
There are many companies out there that will promise you the sky in neatly wrapped packages, make sure you understand the difference between what they say and what they mean. For example, many will imply that they will get your book into brick and mortar bookstores when in reality all they can do is place your book in the catalogue of books in print that the stores can search. To actually see your book in a regular bookstore you will need a legitimate publisher or you carry one with you on your way in.
As a self published author you need to select your venues carefully and the best results will come if you do them yourself and under no circumstances do not transfer your copyright to anyone who you are paying to publish or will publish your book without much thought and will sell you has many copies as you want for a small discount.
After all, you are a publisher now not just an author, act like one.
Write and rewrite your book as many times as you possibly can and then see if you can get a friend (friends would be even better) to go over it for you and don't forget to ask them to be brutally honest. In shop talk this is called polish and that is exactly what you need to do.
Next you need to give your literary baby a name, one that will not only satisfy you but one that will titillate a potential reader and provide a glimpse into the story.
Now we bring self publishing and print on demand together.
It's time to get some books printed, here's where TheBookPatch comes in, you can order a single copy or as many as you need. It's important that you order one or just a few first so that you can be sure that everything is as you would like it and you could let your friends give it a read as well. Extra eyes are always a blessing when it comes to catching errors.
We designed our system so that you can go in at any time and correct your file as many times and as often as you need.
As a true Print On Demand (POD) company we remain in the background. We do not have any rights to your book nor do we restrict you in any way from selling wherever you want or printing elsewhere for that matter.
As we believe that most of your book sales will occur in events such as book signings, book fairs and online we make sure you get the lowest printing price we can offer when you order your copies and at the same time we do not take any percentage of your markup when you sell in our online bookstore, nor do we determine what that markup is.
After all you are the publisher, you decide.