Book Publishing in the 21st Century

Book Publishing in the 21st Century

The Book Publishing industry has become the wild west for countless authors and as well for many publishers. Let me explain why.

Over 100 years ago, in 1903, a company named The Kitsap Publishing & Printing Co. was founded with a capital stock of $10,000. We do not know how long the company was operating and why it shut the doors. We will investigate further about this company. However, we do know that at the time The early 19th Century Kitsap Publishing & Printing Company was in business, the publishing industry has been associated with the printing industry like no other industry. Many existing companies still have the word "press" in their name.

Fast forward, The Kitsap Publishing & Printing Co. was reborn by the foundation of a company named Kitsap Printing Corporation by Sarah and Billy Runnels in 1981. In 2013, Ingemar and Barbara Anderson acquired the business and after just about a year they founded a new business called Kitsap Publishing to publish books and to supplement their products and services. It becomes obvious that since the printing press was invented around the year 1450, printing and publishing has always worked closely together side by side for many centuries. 

Today, the publishing industry has evolved beyond the printing industry and became much more complex. Digital publishing and online marketing have transformed the entire industry. This has created a new trend in publishing: a more author-driven approach to book publishing. The new complexity in publishing is fueled by empowered authors who have access to publishing tools and can take on most of the publishing tasks themselves. This has created a wild west environment in some segments of the publishing industry. ISBN requested by self-publishing authors has risen by several hundred percents just in the last few years whereas ISBN by traditional publishers has risen only moderately. This gap of publishing speed and volume has created a new category on publishing, which is now called vanity publishing and listed below as category B. 

In the last ten years, a sheer countless number of new companies have appeared that call themselves 'publishers'. This new kind of publishing companies offer services to help authors get their work published. Technically, they publish your book, make it available on all retail platforms and even provide a number of printed books for the author. However, what is different to traditional publishing is that these publications are mostly cover only the middle of the entire publishing process: the design and distribution of the book. The beginning of each book publishing project, however, is a long-term strategic plan that covers the target market, the sales projections. 

  • Category A) NON-PAID PUBLISHERS: A non-paid publisher is a publication house that does not charge authors at all to publish their books. These are all traditional publishers and many new and niche publishers who make money by selling books. 
    • Paid publishing: The author pays all expenses to get the book published, and the author has full right to set up marketing policies. This is known as vanity publishing. In almost all cases the book is published under the publisher's imprint. The main goal of a paid publisher is to earn money by selling services to authors and not by selling books. 
    • Self-Publishing: The author manages the entire publishing project, selects and hires a team to complete tasks like book design, layout, and even marketing. The author publishes the finished book under their own imprint and they receive the majority of the money that is earned from selling books. 

After a century-long journey since the founding of The Kitsap & Publishing Co. in Kitsap County – a large county on the Olympic Peninsula in Western Washington State – in the year 1903, the book publishing industry has made it through rough waters, rapid and extreme changes and, as we believe, has reached a point of maturation. 

Today, our Kitsap Publishing is committed to a non-paid publisher business model, or as many call it a traditional publishing model. We evaluate and assess manuscripts and authors thoroughly to evaluate if a book created from a manuscript has the potential to reach a larger portion of the population or at least a specific niche readership. In other words, with every manuscript submission, we ask ourselves whether a book will have an impact on the world. We verify that a manuscript is relevant before we sign a publishing agreement.

With authors approaching us daily, we realize that many manuscripts are mainly written by authors who like to express their opinions, practice their writing skills or it seems their main goal is to just see their work in print. In this case, we recommend that the author seeks the vanity publishing path. The rise of the vanity publishing industry within the last decade or so has given authors a new tool to publish their work. Based on Bowker's annual report, the number of books published through CreateSpace has sky-rocketed four times faster than their top competitors Smashwords, Lulu, Blurb, Xlibris, AuthorHouse in the last few years. We believe that the vanity publishing industry is a blessing for many people, supports a strong democracy and improves business in a whole. However, for the reader, it has become quite difficult to decide which title is worth reading and which book might be a waste of time.

This is why we are determined to create a company that provides a reliable source of literature that exceeds the reader's expectation. We work very closely with our authors to create the best literature possible. This is why vanity publishing is not an option for us. With our long experience and connections built over the years, our promise is to deliver what vanity authors in almost all cases cannot. 

In August 2017, Kitsap Publishing has completely abandoned the vanity publishing model and now operates exclusively as a non-paid publisher. With online marketing and the Internet becoming the new way of doing business, we have developed a cutting-edge publishing process that has solved the age-old problem of how to fund the publishing and marketing of a new title. Funds will be created without asking the author to contribute their own money, and without running a crowd-funding initiative. This process only requires little investment from us as the publisher, so that we can take on several projects at the same time. The core of this new process is a campaign-driven pre-sale initiative, which is initiated, fully managed and operated by us as the publisher. Income from the pre-sale initiative will be used to pay for the printing of review copies, advertising and publicity initiatives. 

To learn more about how we work with authors and about who our authors are, visit our landing page for authors


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Hi Agents, This is a brief inquiry to see if you would be interested in publishing my 76 page manuscript, HOMELESS HOUNDICAPS which is a comedy/drama about 6 dogs with various handicaps on a fun and scary adventure. Please let me know as I would love to have Kitsap Publishing in my corner. Thanks for your time and consideration, Pamela Royal

Pamela C. Royal

I am interested publishing my middle grade book, HOMELESS HOUNDICAPS with Kitsap Publishing. It was previously published by Xlibris, but I cancelled that contract in 2019 because they did nothing for my book. So I have complete clearance to pitch it as is, but you will need to give it a new Barcode and an ISBN number. Are you interested? Thanks, Pamela

Pamela C. Royal

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