Dan Silva is the Editor-in-Chief and Partner at ZOVA Books and the Director of Creative Development for ZOVA Inc., the parent company of ZOVA Books. Dan has edited a wide range of subjects from marketing books to educational workbooks. Now he has found himself back where his heart has always been, fiction. Dan brings a keen eye for detail and discriminating ear for talent to the ZOVA team. Combining many years of writing and management experience, Dan is responsible for the creative direction of the company.
As I mentioned in my previous post, there are so many options for writers now: Big houses, small presses, self-publishing, digital publishing, etc. Because of all these options, the market is flooded with books. I’d like to discuss a little bit about all of these options and what the pros and cons of each are.
Big House Publishing: Pros: a writer gets a team of editors, artists, and marketing professionals to design and promote their work. Big houses have the connections and preexisting relationships with distributors (if they don’t own their own), the money for shelf space at bookstores, and a network of people in the film and television world to get the word out about their titles. Cons: Disconnection of the author from the work and the team working on it. So many people have their hands on developing the title that the finished product may be different than the author expects. I’ve spoken with authors who were sent the cover art of their book and the design was for a totally different genre than the story they’d written. Also, once the book is out, who does the author speak with at their publisher? Do they receive advice or guidance? Most often not. The big house is too big.
Small Presses: Pros: a writer gets a smaller team of editors and artists to design their book. The staff is closer knit and the author may get more personalized service and communication with representatives of the press. Sometimes, Small Presses will work with authors to develop book layouts and cover designs. Cons: Less money for promotion. Small Presses often times do not have the marketing budget that the Big Houses have to put into shelf space at a bookstore, film and TV representation, or book trailers and commercials.
Self-Publishing: Pros: a writer has total control of everything. This means the editing is the responsibility of the author. Cover design: author. Marketing: author. Distribution . . . (you get the idea). This also means that the author gets 100% of the profits. Cons: Quality control. Many writers feel that their work is good enough for publication, and often times it is not. Without a team of impartial professionals to cut sentences, add commas, and correct typos a book can be released before they are ready to be shared. Also, the cover. I can walk through a bookstore and pick out the self-published titles by sight. The artwork is subpar, the binding shoddy, and the paper quality and formatting does not have the standards that professionals add to titles. Many people self-publish with spectacular results, and I am NOT saying that a writer should NEVER self-publish their work. However, there are risks and drawback to it.
Digital Publishing: This is a publishing option is continuing to grow in popularity. With the price of printing books increasing and with iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and miscellaneous other eReading devices becoming more popular, eBooks are a great way to cut production costs and reach a wider audience. Most of the Big Houses and Small Presses create eBooks as well as physical books. It is still unclear about what long term effects digital publishing will have on the publishing industry as a whole. What we do know is that it is hear to stay. Some publishers only publish in digital format which greatly reduces costs, and with the liquidation of major brick and mortar bookstores, shelf space for physical books is becoming less affordable and less available.