What are the different routes for book publishing?

There are various alternative routes available for how to publish a book. The traditional one and the digital one (self-publishing). There is the number of reasons to go for both the things, but before that, you need to know which is which.

The traditional book publishing route:
If as an author, you want to get your book published by a conventional way, then you need to:
.Get your work accepted by a literary agent. Big publisher take submissions only from literary agents.
.When you get an agent, the agent will take care of selling your writing work or manuscript to the big publisher.
.With this, you will get paid an upfront advance for your manuscript. The payment differs from work to work. It may be small or significant depending on   commercial potential.

The publisher then will invest in editorial, copyediting, designing, sales and marketing work. Again here, the budget depends on the publisher to publisher. Small publisher spends smaller amount, and big publisher spends large amounts. Now, you should expect distribution for your book, i.e., physical books in physical stores. You should also expect newspaper review coverage. Big publishers also distribute your book through every possible digital platform. Rare possibilities are there of getting a TV or movie deal, for authors who travel the traditional route.

The digital book publishing route
The disadvantage of the traditional way is it is very tough to get an agent who will take your work, and even after that there is no guarantee of selling your work or manuscript to a publisher. The digital publishing route, i.e., self-publishing is easy as compared to the traditional way of publishing. The most significant advantage of the e-reading revolution from an author’s viewpoint is that anyone can eddo it. At Amazon, you can upload your work without any charges and can sell it all over the globe.

If you want to publish your work digitally, you need to be aware of:
– Amazon never pay an advance
– Your work will not appear in retail bookshops.
– Your work will not receive coverage in media.
– You may face cost related to editing, designing, etc. related work.
– Just being on the list of Amazon’s store lists, it does not mean that you will receive excellent sales.
– To make this new market work for you, you need to write a fantastic book and also need to market it and sell it.

The pros and cons of the different routes
Traditional publishing is good for writers who:
– have written novels or mainstream non-fiction
– do want an advance
– do want the appreciation of traditional publishing contract
– do want their work is distributed through bookshops
– do not want to take the stress of aftersales and business side
– don’t mind slow publishing process
– don’t care that publishers have control over central decisions
– If you have written literary, general, book club or any other fiction, then you have the minimal alternative to the traditional route.

Digital publishing is good for writers who:
– haven’t obtained an agent yet
– who is writing in digital-friendly genres, like romance, crime, erotic, paranormal, fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.?
– want to have control over the whole publishing process
– possesses entrepreneurial skills
– can handle digital interfaces
– don’t care about the attractive perks of traditional publishing like bookstore distribution, media coverage etc.