Question! Creatives, do you know the publishing business?


Great day Dreamers!

I wanted to share some insight with my fellow creatives who are either published or seeking to publish a project. Knowing basic legal jargon and the traditional ins and outs of publishing are key to your success. If you have a publisher remember that it is a partnership and a joint effort when it comes to your book’s success. So, I put together a few points to really focus on and take heed to when with a publisher or self-publishing.

Tips from Delphine Publications and understanding publishing:

Breaking down royalties:


Some smaller or indie publishers are trying a number of other creative scenarios for paying their authors. One of those you might see is royalties paid on “net profits” or “profit sharing.” In essence, the publisher only pays the author royalties after all their costs have been covered. Then, once they’ve covered all costs, the publisher pays the author a royalty percentage on the profits. Often there is no advance when it comes to deals of this nature, however, the percentage paid to the author is much higher, usually landing somewhere in the 20% to 40% range.


Importance of your book signings and engagement:

As an author, it is important to consistently promote your book in person as well as online. Creating effective marketing plans and strategies for your brand is ideal for your success and potential earnings. Publishing is merely producing the book which is about 20% of your author journey. The remaining 80% is marketing…..look up the definition of publisher….Betcha won’t see any mention of marketing. I personally feel that a publisher who invests their money in an artist should also invest time. Time could be creating events, press interviews, book tours, and social media marketing. However this is not an obligation of your publisher.

Understanding author book purchases:

Many traditional and independent presses will charge authors 60% of the retail list price simply because they must make a profit as well. That means that if your book is retailing at $15.95, you’re paying $9.57 per copy. No publisher or label will voluntarily give their artists free product to sell for their own financial gain. However, if you are self-published then the only cost that you will have is the print cost of your book.

Understanding traditional publishing:

At Delphine Publications, we create opportunities to tour with your labelmates and be alongside your publisher. You receive book coaching, mentoring, marketing and brand strategies to help you understand your marketing efforts. Also, as a traditional publisher, Delphine Publications often creates postcards, sales sheets, and marketing plans to help artists effectively navigate through the publishing world outside of the digital space. However, this is not expected by most publishers. The only obligation a publisher has to their author is to ensure that the book is available for purchase. Publisher doesn’t mean publicist and they aren’t obligated to promote your work. So, what should you do? Make sure that the publisher you sign with has additional incentives such as the ones mentioned here that we offer or other ways to earn, learn, and grow. After all, being an artist is a personal journey and you should be implementing all these things on your own or with a publicist.

Understanding paperback returns:

Who wants their book returned? No one! But hey it happens but how can we avoid it? When paperback books are returned from buyers and book stores, the cost incurred will be applied towards royalties from the distributor. Meaning; if a buyer purchased your book for $7.50 and decides to return the book because of lack of sales, they will charge the publisher $7.50 plus $2.00 shipping per book.  You’re now out of an estimated $10, per book! This, in turn, is deducted from any profits or monies that the buyer initially paid out. Books have an estimated 2-4 weeks’ lifespan to be on bookshelves before they are returned due to lack of sales. Returns can be avoided by actively promoting your works and courting buyers as well as readers. Which you should be doing anyway.

Stick to the plan……

There is NO trick. Either you promote and continue until you get the results you want or don’t begin this journey at all. Dream chasing is a forever journey and if you find yourself discouraged because you’re not getting instant results because the person you sought out for help isn’t the immediate answer, or you’re just not making enough money right away; then process beginning this journey before stepping in. Success comes in so many levels and amounts, but it doesn’t come in a safety net. There isn’t a magic wand or move will do the trick.

Understanding publishing can be a lot to take it but it can also help you be successful by learning the business ahead of time. Knowledge is power, I know we’ve heard that saying before, so don’t step into this industry with ignorance. Do the research and be a team player. After all your success is in your hands and no one else.

Now continue to create and go be great!