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Publishers can have a profound impact on authors and can have a lot of power when it comes to authors which also means that traditional publishers can hurt authors and their careers. They can deny authors promising book deals and they can even make sure that the author is never successful in the literary world.


We are going to find out how bad publishers hurt authors. We are also going to answer questions such as, have publishers failed authors etc and we are going to talk about the ways in which publishers can exert power and control over authors and can even damage their work through low-quality editing and low-quality designing.


Basically, if the author is not a big name in the industry, then they virtually have no power in front of publishers because publishers hold all the cards when it comes to publishing. By the end of this blog, we are also going to talk about a solution that is slowly but surely transforming the publishing industry and giving more power to authors. However, we are not going to talk about book publishers to avoid or mention any specific book publisher.


So, here are the ways in which publishers have hurt authors in the past.






Royalties are the bread and butter of every author and royalties are the difference between choosing a permanent career as an author and doing something on the side just to pay the bills.  That is where the royalty agreement comes in where the author agrees to a certain percentage of the profits or the sales so that they can get a cut of the money from the profits or sales that the book makes.


But think of this situation, you are a new author who is just starting out and you have no prior work to show how successful of an author you can be and that is why the publisher has all the power in the world to decide on the royalty percentage. Since you are new, they can give you examples such as, they are taking a risk with a newcomer etc and set a percentage that is far less than what you desire.


This is one of the primary ways by which an author can get hurt by the actions of the publisher.




The thing about traditional publishing is that there is so much demand for it and there are so many writers willing to be authors that manuscripts can pile up into huge bundles making it physically impossible for the publisher to go through them in a short time in order to find out the correct or the perfect manuscript.


There are definitely ways to get around this through recommendations etc but if you are new to the industry with no connections then it is virtually impossible for you to skip the line and get your manuscript read by the publisher without having to wait a long time. This can hurt your career badly as you would have to wait for them just to go through your manuscript and after that will come the time when they will say if you have been accepted or rejected.


In the meantime, there will be no publishing and no royalties which means you will have to resort to balancing between being a writer and doing some other kind of job just to sustain yourself.




Creative control is important and sometimes it can hurt the ego of the authors because sometimes publishers might want the authors to make critical changes to the manuscript which authors might not like.


Sometimes this is nothing because authors do not mind making changes asked by the publishers but sometimes authors might not really want any other person to tell them what changes they have to make to their own creation and this can actually become an issue and a deciding factor whether they will publish or not.


Even if the author is a bestseller, then again, no author can have complete creative control when it comes to traditional publishing and this is also one of the primary cons of traditional publishing.




Authors are not people of the law and they are definitely not lawyers who understand legal language. That is when publishers can deliberately create complex agreements and contracts that are beyond the understanding of regular authors as they can be made to sign things that they have not intended.


These contracts can be very rigid and can actually limit the authors from working with any other publisher for a certain time period without the author even understanding it when they are signing it. This is not only wrong but this is something that gives the publishing world a very bad reputation as the publishers try to control authors.




While we can think of a lot of solutions and sometimes even activism but the one true solution to this is to take matters into your own hands and become the publisher yourself. Yes, we are talking about self-publishing because self-publishing is when you become the publisher yourself as the author and you get to have the higher ground when it comes to everything right from the royalties to the terms of the contract.


We are Orange Publishers and we are the leading self-publishing company in India and we love supporting new and upcoming authors and we love giving them power that they can never have with traditional publishing. Our authors get to decide everything from creative control to contract terms as well as the percentage of royalties.


We are also the publishing house that does everything in-house right from the editing to the cover art designing and illustrations as well as printing and publishing and much more including marketing and promotion and copyright. We welcome you with open arms to the world of freedom and power and self-publishing as we welcome you to check out all our self-publishing services at Orange Publishers.