Just Getting Started

Learn about the basics of self-publishing, including the Four Paths to Publishing available to every writer.

The Four Paths to Publishing

Not that long ago, there was only one way to get published: find an agent; hope he or she would represent you; pray they sell your book proposal to a publisher; trust the publisher to get behind the book and believe in the project; and hope that readers would buy your book.

This description of traditional publishing (or what some now call legacy publishing) is still a viable path for writers today, but now there are three other distinct paths a writer can pursue to publish their own work: DIY, General Contractor, and Supported Self-Publishing.

Let's look at each of these paths and compare their advantages and disadvantages.

1. DIY Publishing


DIY—which stands for Do-It-Yourself—is a self-publishing option in which a writer uses an online tool to upload their manuscript, create a book, and get it into distribution.

Advantages: This path usually requires the smallest financial investment needed to publish a book in at least one format.

Disadvantages: Formats and distribution can be limited. Most options do not have any professional services available, so a writer has to find the editing, marketing, and other services needed to complete the project.

2. General Contractor


The General Contractor publishing path requires hiring and coordinating a number of independent service providers such as an editor, book designer, publicist, etc.

Advantages: You select the individuals who work on every aspect of your book.

Disadvantages: This path can require the most time and money, depending on the scope of the project.

3. Supported Self-Publishing


The third way you can publish your book is to work with a supported self-publishing company whose bundles of services help you get your book and cover designed in print and digital formats, into distribution, and available for sale.

Advantages: One-stop shop for everything you need to publish, promote, and distribute your book. You have selection, service, and convenience.

Disadvantages: This path can require more of a financial investment than DIY, and packages may include services you do not want or need, although some customisation can be possible.

4. Traditional Publishing


Historically, if you had a manuscript or book proposal, you needed to find an agent to represent you. Then, he or she would take the project to publishers with the intent to sell it and get an advance against future royalties. Unlike the first three paths, where you retain your rights to the content, you give your rights to traditional publishers.

Advantages: You may get an advance, and the publisher will typically improve your manuscript using their editorial expertise. Plus, they may have a sales force to push your book.

Disadvantages: Fewer new titles and writers are being traditionally published, so the odds of getting "picked up" are reduced. It usually takes the most time of any of the options to get your book to market.

Balboa Press Advantages

It is your creativity and your passion that will change the world for the better — our publishing company can help you reach your goals. By choosing to publish with Balboa Press, you not only align yourself with a publisher that shares your values, but you also receive benefits that you won't find with any other self-publishing company.

Here are just a few of the unique benefits you'll discover as one of our authors:

  • Discovery opportunities. When you publish with Balboa Press, your book could become the next Hay House title. Representatives from Hay House will regularly review Balboa Press titles for new authors to sign with them.
  • Entry into the U.S. book market. Your book will be available for purchase through online retailers around the globe, from Australia to the United States, including Amazon.com.
  • Professional self-publishing assistance. Self-publishing means that you have the freedom to blaze your own trail to success. But that doesn't mean that you're left to figure everything out for yourself. By choosing to publish with Balboa Press, you also have an entire team of experienced industry professionals on your side.
  • Earth-friendly publishing. We pride ourselves in being kind to the earth at Balboa Press. We strive to use less paper by doing most of the book production work online and for printing we use Print-on-Demand (POD) printing that only prints a book when it is ordered.
  • Editorial standards ensure consistent positive message. We have established editorial standards your book must meet to ensure readers receive quality books they can love and trust. Rest assured that your book will be counted among other respected titles.
  • Substantial author discounts. You will receive volume discounts on your books, which in turn can help you generate more revenue.
  • Retain the rights to your book. We never buy the rights to your manuscript, so your copyrighted material is yours to use as you wish.
  • Maintain control. We are here to help you every step of your publishing journey. But, that doesn't mean we make changes or force you do anything with your book you don't want to do. You have ultimate control of your book from start to finish with Balboa Press.
  • Access to expert editing and marketing services. By publishing with us, you can choose from our professional services to help you reach your goals. Select only the services you need for your book—no more, no less.

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