Types and genres of books
Each person has their own favorite or preferred genres when it comes to books. Be it fiction or non-fiction, there is a favorite in each category. Books have taken us to distant places and have shown us the ways of the world. Book genres are varied but basically, the classifications start with dividing the existing books into two main types; that is, fictional and non-fictional. These two categories have their own sub-classes, what we call as genres.
Typically to say, all books published can be classified into these two categories. The same book might fall into both the categories at the same time if the elements in the book seem to have a touch of both.
Fictional books refer to those books which have made up stories about different galaxies or about the same planet we live in. These books, though made up, base their facts on the existing principles of the world and the truths and ideals involved in the same. For instance, fiction has sci-fi books, which are basically fictional stories that have a backing from the scientific principles and laws. On the other hand, non-fictional books basically deal with the “how to” part of living. The books published, are based on social themes and mostly have the biographies and the travel books under them.
Why publish books?
A book does not have much of worth if it is not available for the people to read. If the author of the book keeps the book private and chooses not to publish it, the years of work he would have put into giving life to the story and the book, would all go to the dumps. If the story is accepted and published, the author would receive praises and this is the only way one can have a fair judgment of the books. Every book deserves recognition and appreciation, since without these; one never gets to know about the ways or facts in life.
One might say that he can gain knowledge just by hearing stories or by talking to people. This might be true, but the true essence of life can only be achieved through reading a published book.
The current publishing scenario
With so many authors growing in each part of the world, publishing companies are also slowly gaining more recognition today. In olden days, authors were few and thus the world saw very few publishing companies gain recognition. Times have changed and with this, the book publishing scenario is also seeing a great sea change. The latest predictions in the publishing scenario suggest that publishers and authors would be having a myriad of opportunities to come out with latest publications, though a slow growth is expected.
E-books have gained a lot of recognition in the past few years. Though people tend to go after this particular publication rather than the hard copy of the books, experts suggest that these e-books would be facing a shrink in terms of its value in dollars but their unit volume would rise up.
Publishing companies- Is there more than one type?
Back in the olden days, the publishing industry was not as complicated as it is today. With publishers springing up at every corner, the publishing industry has grown fast and along with it, bifurcations have also arisen. Back in the time when everything was simple, the author who wished to get his book published would have to approach very few publications to publish the work. The scenario has completely changed and brought along with it various classifications of book publishing.
Be it any book, there is a publication type that would help the author to get the book to the masses. As a writer, it is imperative that the person must be aware of all the different types of publishing pathways that he can choose from. Each pathway has its pro and cons and this is one of the main reasons why the person should take time in deciding the right publishing pathway for the book. All efforts would be ruined if the wrong path is taken and the book does not gain the audience level that was expected by the writer.
Here is a list of the common types of publishing pathways that are available in the publishing industry. Give it a proper read and choose the best.
- Traditional publishing
- Vanity publishing
- Subsidy publishing
- Small press
- University and textbook press
- Indie publishing
- Author co-op
What is traditional publishing?
As the name suggests, traditional publishing simply means to publish a book using the traditional methods available. Some people tend to call this to be “legacy publishing” though this particular term seems to have a controversial side to it. Some of the common traditional publishers are Macmillan Publishers, Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster and Hachette Book Group.
Traditional publishing involves getting help from an agent who has contacts with publishers. Both non-fiction, as well as fiction books, are published this way. The only way it differs from both the types of books is the way one has to go about with publishing. They include:
- Non-fictional authors would have to submit a proposal indicating few chapters in the book. After receiving the advance for the book, the writer would then have to complete writing the work.
- Fictional authors should submit a whole manuscript of the book that he has written. The agent pays advance and the writer has to wait for a publishing company to represent them in the market.
The publication house that has chosen the writer, helps in editing the work and publishes the work. The author has to now wait for the book to get recognition among the audiences. Royalty is paid to the write by the agent after the book earns out the money that the agent has paid as advance for the book to the writer.
What has involved in self-publishing a book?
As far as self-publishing is concerned, the writer of the book becomes the publisher. Everything, right from writing, editing, proofreading, cover design, layout, distribution, and market, is done by the writer. Few people tend to outsource some part of the process to the freelancers who would help them editing and proofreading the work. All processes and the publication costs are covered by the author himself though he gets to get hold of the reign for all the other creative processes. The right to work and design layouts for the book becomes the sole property of the writer with self-publishing.
Check out these highly visited self-publishing portals to get your work out
One important thing to keep in mind is that, not every person who puts a book on Amazon becomes a self-publisher. The writer can choose to self-publish his works as long as his finances allow him to do so. If the book gains the much-needed recognition and if the returns are good, the writer gets to take home 100% as he does not have to anything to the agent or the publication company for the sale of the book. The only main thing to look out for is that the writer must be able to get a proper audience for the book published and in the same time ensure that the book is of good quality.
The two sides of the coin- pros and cons of each path
Everything situation and the path have at least two choices to it. Choosing a particular path would have its own pros and cons. These are the main guidelines that need to be kept in mind if you wish to get your book published and get recognized. Here is a list to know what each pathway has in it to choose better.
- Traditional publishing gives the writer an advance for the book that he has written but getting the royalties for the sale of each book published is hard to come by. In the recent times, even the advance that is paid for the books have become very less than before. Though the writer is paid for it, one has to wait for a long time to get hold of it. The writer has to “earn out” to get the royalty. To put in simple terms, the agent should get back the advance paid and only then the writer gets his royalty.
- The small press does not take much money to get the book published. In fact, no money is needed for publishing the book. But the major drawback is that one cannot expect any advance or royalty for the book that has been published. The only returns one can expect are from the sale of the book published.
- Author co-op involves pooling in readers by the authors themselves. This way the readers of one author would be advised to read the books of the other and so on.
- Self-publishing involves no form of an advance for the book as the author himself gets the book published after targeting a particular audience. The major drawback is that books sold in this way do not ensure much return and not definitely considered to be the path to richness and fame.
Choosing the right publishing path for your book
The only thing remains, in the end, is the choice of the writer to choose the right publishing path for his book. Each book published would sell out and gain recognition only if it is introduced to the people through a proper channel. Each of the publishing pathways that have been mentioned earlier has their own pros and cons and it is the writer who needs to distinguish the best from the others. Only the writer, who has put in his maximum effort for writing the book, would have a say in this.
Choosing the right path can be difficult with so many options around. Here is a breakdown of the common choices that writers tend to take out of the lot.
- Traditional publishing is taken up by writers who feel the need for security for their books. With the advance that is paid, the writer gets a boost to continue his work with the book. Publishing houses tend to keep book launches to create a better audience base for the book. A few decades back, if someone was invited to the launch of the book published, the entire affair seemed to be the bit dull with the author giving few lines about his book and later going for a Q & A with the readers. But today that is not the case! Every book launch today is themed around the book, music, food, and costumes are designed according to the elements in the book.
- Self publishing is mostly taken up by writers who already seem to have a reader base for their books. Writers who wish to have control over the creative processes of cover design and layouts tend to prefer this path. Self-publication of the book gives the writer a sense of sole responsibility for the book and the freedom to be creative.
- University and textbook press is mostly for the publication of the books and texts for the schools, colleges and universities. All academic writers prefer this path.
- Small press is chosen by writers if they wish to publish books that follow a certain genre that the publishing company specialises in. No agents are involved and the writer has direct contact with the company.
The world of publishing is slowly evolving. The trends that were once there earlier have become modified or have been replaced completely by something new in the market. New models are getting introduced regularly and it is high time writers and publishing houses started keeping track of these. It has slowly reached a point where to get the book published; the writer needs to raise his existing standard. The choice and the expectation of the readers are varying often and writers need to come out with books that suit the audiences to stay in the field. One can say that the growth in the market is the result of the constant change in the expectations of the people. Quality books are always preferred as it is a fact that, “Books open your mind, broaden your mind and strengthen you as nothing else can”.
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