Sunday, February 12, 2012

2nd Sunday Savors: Traditional vs Self-pub

Tillamock Lighthouse, Oregon Coast

Why don't you just self-publish? If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me this question, I would have enough money to pay someone to publish and promote my book while I vacation in Hawaii for six months.

Over the last year, I've taken great consideration to the question. With e-publishing becoming so popular, many authors rejected by NY are still getting their book out there and some with more success than ever. Several authors in my RWA chapter that have gone this route and are able to support themselves financially.

You know what? I think it's great! I'm so happy to see them succeed, because they deserve it. The relevant question is what the author wants? Are they willing to query their hearts out to NY and wait for months while assistants dig through the slush piles or do they want to see their book out in print within six months?

Does the author want to hold a beautiful hard cover copy of their book they've shed blood and tears writing and editing or will they be satisfied with the digital copy on Amazon or B & N?

These are the questions I've asked myself since I started writing 3 years ago. There is nothing wrong with either route of publishing. In my opinion, NY is the way to go because they have high exceptions expectations. Therefore I strive to write to their standard, even if in the end I publish with a smaller independent company. When I have a product I'm proud of I will see where the industry is and will make my decision. If I find an e-publisher that provides the same quality and marketing drive as the big six in NY and they want my book, I certainly am not going pass the opportunity.

Till then I will write, write, write, write.....


  1. I know you didn't mean to contradict your own argument, but I believe you meant "high expectations."

    I'm also undergoing the debate of self-publication vs. the traditional route. My programming is that, yes, traditional is where the prestige is: if you can run that gauntlet, it means something. But on the other hand, what greater freedom is there than everyone throwing their hat into the ring and letting the buyer decide? People just want to read and their standards are much looser than those of the established publishing houses.

    At the same time, it doesn't have to be a either/or proposition. One could cook off a dozen books for e-consumption while laboring over a masterpiece for NY's consideration. What an experiment that would be, huh?

  2. Good edit catch, Christian. Will have to fix that when I get home. I wholeheartedly agree with letting the reader decide. One of the other factors I didn't mention, which I will maybe in future blog post, is that publicly plays a huge roll in my decision. Right now, I'm slowly getting followers through this blog & Twitter, but for the most part I'm a nobody. If I self-pub a novel, who would read it? Who would know about my book? Marketing has never been my strong suite.

    I would have to pay for ads or for someone connected to help me do the work...but now we enter into another facet of the debate. One I can write several blog posts about.

    Thankyou so much for commenting & sharing your thoughts. :)