So you want to write a book?? are you sure? 😂
Write they said, it would be fun they said ……ok to be fair no one said it would be fun.
This blog post is my attempt at writing an “expose” on my little knowledge of the publishing industry so far hahahah.
Where is this coming from Ibiyemi? This seems random, thanks for asking dear reader lol, I’ll tell you the story. It all started in June 2020 when I joined a “prophetic call on Zoom” during the DEEP of the pandemic. For those of you that are not Christian a prophetic call/session is essentially an opportunity to hear from God but through someone else. The leader will typically pray and then just share some words that God is telling them to share with you! ANYWAAAAAYs, this particular call was my 1st ever one, and the leader was basically going on about how God told me that he is calling me to be a leader, to influence people with my words and that I would essentially write books….I remember laughing my a** off because at that point, I had just started the blog a month prior and I didn’t even read books so the idea of writing one seemed absolutely ridiculous.
I promptly forgot about it and just continued living my life. I started to share more on the blog and people seemed to resonate with it, so I was like “Check”! God said I should write and I’m already writing sooooo yay I’m being obedient. Fast forward to a year later and my “reading journey” starts in April of 2021. I would like to say, I just fell in love with books and became an avid reader but that was not the case. I actually started reading because of anxiety; I’ll explain. 2021 was wild, the pandemic was still very much pandemicing, uncertainly was still very much alive and I felt like there were just sooo many things to be worried about. I remember picking up an autobiography by an author I liked and thinking to myself, “My only task here is to turn the page”. If I can turn the page, then maybe I can turn another page; I don’t have to fully understand because it's just a book, no one is grading me, no one is asking for a review, the story of this woman’s life does not determine mine, I just need to turn the page. Long story short, I just finished my 36th book by simply turning the page.
When 2023 started, God reminded me about the idea of “writing a book” so I joined a promising writing masterclass…..GURLLLLLL I don’t know what I expected but I don’t know if it was this. To give you context, I thought that “publishing a book” meant printing (and all the people that work in publishing just cackled). I really thought the hardest part of writing a book was the “writing part”. I really thought to myself, “I can write blog posts easily, I can tell funny stories that people resonate with, I can even just re-package some blog posts this should be a simple process. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you that publishing a book is lowkey highkey a scam. The fact that every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there has a book does not make the process easy AT ALLLLLLL. So with my limited knowledge, let me share what I’ve learned about the publishing industry and the options that exist;
Traditional publishing - basically if you don’t already have an Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, or LinkedIn following of 50K-100K then it’s not for you. The publisher basically wants to know if they have already made their money back because you have an audience. Even with those that have audiences, you have to get an agent and shop your manuscript around if you have already written one. If they come to you, better make sure you have a good lawyer to look over those contracts because SIS they might just take up to 30% of your earnings. This option is virtually inaccessible to a lot of people who are not social media famous.
Well Ibiyemi, what about “Self Publishing” on Amazon or something; I’ve heard people do that all the time; again so glad you asked. This route is very time-consuming if you actually want people other than your friends and family to buy and read your book. There is a reason, “self-publishing” companies charge people $4000 - $8000 to publish your book for you. I asked my really good friend that works in publishing what this option is truly like…..she was basically like if you feel like opening up another small business then go for it, because you basically become the editor, writer, marketer, distribution house, sales person, operations and everything in between.
There has got to be a better option right? Well, I wouldn’t say “better” but maybe an alternative option, and it's called “Vanity Publishing”. This is where you “pitch” your book to a vanity publisher and they “take” you on HOWEVER you have to pay all the costs for the production of the book (editing, cover, illustration, printing, distribution) and in some cases, they would also own the rights to your book. This will run you anywhere from $10-$15K oh also, there are a lot of cases of known fraudulent companies that take your money and do nothing for you. Trust me, one woman published a WHOLE book about how she got scammed by one of these vanity publishers.
In my research, I also came across a publishing/distribution house that can GUARANTEE you bestseller lists for a measly $60,000 in cost, no biggie. They basically sell this to 6 and 7-figure entrepreneurs who are looking at “writing a book” as a way to secure a higher “speaker’s rate” at conferences, almost like a marketing tool. So they can basically go to a conference host and say “I wrote the book on (insert obscure subject matter expertise) and it was a best-seller, pay me more to tell your conference attendees”... oh also I can throw in 50 copies of this book at a reduced rate as a gift to your attendees. To be honest, the whole thing just feels very inaccessible to the general population that actually just wants to share their stories with people.
So there you have it, the lowkey scam of this industry…..just to re-iterate, ALL of my insights are from my very very limited knowledge of the publishing industry, so don’t come for me, do your own research. What I do know is that if I ever write this book, it will be an actual MIRACLE from God himself because I can’t really see a viable option.
Side note - if you are in fact a book publisher and are looking to sign this hilarious blogger, then shoot your shot! LOL.
Till next time;