My definition of Assisted Publishing

7 Mar

We are all familiar with the terms mainstream publishing, self-publishing and vanity publishing. Lets start by exploring these terms.

Mainstream publishing is where a writer has a contract with an established publisher. You as the writer submit your text, they tell you what they want changed, and once everyone is happy, the text is polished with bells and whistles. You don’t get much say in the process, but you haven’t had to spend your own money either.

Self-publishing you do everything. And i mean everything – editing, proofreading, design, illustration (if required) typesetting etc. Good luck there.

Vanity publishing is a nightmare. You pay your money up front, you get thrown loads of copies of your books, and then you have to shift them. I don’t know the figures on this one but I haven’t found an example yet of someone who has actually benefited from this process.

So what is assisted publishing? It is, to all extents and purposes self-publishing. The difference is, you are free to outsource the parts you can’t do yourself.

I shall give you an example. My book, ‘the basic guide to self-publishing’ (working title), is now under what I consider the assisted publishing heading. I have written the text, I have spent hours researching the subject, but that is where my work ends. It is being edited and proof read, and I am now in talks with several designers (you’ve heard that before right?). When complete, I hope to convert the work to the right format myself, and then I shall send it off to my chosen company, ready for the wonderful world of e-book sellers.

Why have I done this? I have heard so many times of self publishers who have made minor mistakes, and major ones as well, and this has affected their sales. I don’t want to be one of these people. I could complete many of these tasks to a degree, but not to what I would class professional standards.

The one thing I haven’t done at this stage is consider outsourcing my marketing. That is not to say I haven’t made contacts. As my first adventure (remember this all started as a University project), I want to experiment with my marketing. Quite honestly, my plan is if I manage to get a couple of good reviews, I may then invest in a high marketing campaign. This is completely the wrong way to do it but I am quite aware of how easy it is for a budget to escalate.

Besides, this is assisted publishing. I get to pick what and when I do things.

So, what do you think? Does this sound like a plan that you are already following? Rather than self-publishing, are we all after the route of assisted publishing?


5 Responses to “My definition of Assisted Publishing”

  1. Charlotte March 8, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    It seems that it’d be so, so hard to do literally all of it alone, and still produce the best possible end product. If nothing else, editing is something I know I will need outside help with, however I eventually go about trying to get my work published. It’s very difficult to view your own work from a sufficiently distanced perspective.

    I’ve also been building a small business in another creative field over the past six months. The challenge of trying to learn so many new skills is invigorating: I have to do photography, graphic design and learn how to advertise and promote, as well as produce the best possible basic product. In the end, though, I have to accept I can’t do everything myself. I’ve outsourced the graphic design already, and I may seek help in other areas. I shan’t be surprised to find that I end up going down the same sort of road with my writing.

    Looking forward to your book coming out, Ellie. Sign me up for a copy.

    • Ellie March 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

      If I ever get a designer lol!

      If you need an editor by the way, I know an absolutely fabulous one, and very reasonable too. Although I was told today to edit your work succesfully read it backwards. I am yet to try this theory out but certainly worth a go I reckon.

      So what’s the business?

      • Charlotte March 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

        Thanks, I’ll remember to ask you for editor recommendations when I need one! At the moment I have absolutely no idea where to find good freelance editors, but all in good time. I guess designers are tricky beasts to track down too!

        The business is clothing design. Similar fields as my writing: fantasy, fairytale, history. Doing the two together works surprisingly well. They sort of cross-inspire. Who knows where it’ll all end up.

  2. Carol Hoare March 8, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Makes perfect sense to me, seems you can have the best of both (all?) worlds!

  3. cherilaser March 7, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Hi! I invite you to visit my blog, which might be a source of additional information for you. If you start with the blog launch posting on November 4, 2009 (, you’ll understand the mission of the blog plus why and how things got started in the first place.

    Then you’ll be able to follow the intricate journey of finishing a novel, securing and living through the proper editing, bringing the book to publication, and now the marketing and promotion. This blog will be a great case study for you. And I’d love to hear from you. So let me know if you have any questions.

    All the best to you on your own Journey.


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