Wednesday, 14 October 2015

All About Writing Wednesday - Traditional Vs. Self-Publishing

Okay, last time I talked about how I finished writing a book and got myself a beta reader. This time I thought I'd talk about how submitted my work to a publisher. Before I really get started talking about the two choices every author has I'd like to mention a book I read.

There's this book about being an author that I picked up before I submitted anything to anyone, Business for Authors by Joanna Penn. I'm so very glad I picked up this book. It talks a little bit about a lot of stuff that I needed to know, including contracts and stuff like that. This book is even good for those Authors who self-publish. Since I plan on doing both soon it's a good buy. I highly recommend it.

Now, for those two choice I had. Traditional publication or self-publishing. There were benefits and drawbacks to both for me.

Before I get to the fun part, I'll explain the difference between these two words. What I mean when I say traditional is submitting something to a publication house for them to publish it. That means I write the book and send it to them. They do everything else. Self-publishing is just that. You do that everything else I spoke of yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

Traditional vs. Self-publishing

What is this everything I speak of? Well, there's editing, proofing, formattimg, uploading, getting the artwork, and I feel like I'm leaving out a few things. But, my point is that all of these things can get pretty costly. A good editor along will cost you hundreds of dollars and I honestly didn't have that kind of money after I finished my book.

Traditional publishing also gives you confirmation that you don't suck. Or at least someone who has read thousands of books doesn't think so, if they choose your submission anyway. For me this was really important. I needed the confidence. For self-publishing that confidence booster comes after you've already sank all that money into getting the book ready. You sit at you're computer watching your Amazon sales and hoping you at least make your money back.

Trusting people in this business is hard. And I'm not talking about the publishers that stop paying their authors or those that go under do to mismanagement, although that's certainly something to look out for. Just signing a contract with some of these publishers is like signing your professional life away. Some contracts are author directed. That means that I sign my author brand over to them. I'm obligated to send them everything I write for a certain number of years. For some people this is okay, they just want to write books. That's perfectly fine for them. For me it wasn't. I have my own vision for my author brand that doesn't including signing it over to a publishing house for five years.

With self-publishing there is no contract with a publisher. There's just you navigating the uploading systems and reading the fine print on Amazon and other such book selling sights. That's definitely comforting knowing you have that much control.

Lack of control of certain things can effect your book sales. Let's face it, there are a ton of books out there so being competitive is definitely a priority. Competitive might mean book prices or if the book is offered in more then just and electronic format. Some people read print still. Having control of some of these things might mean the difference between getting to say your a #1 Bestselling Author. That particular tag going on a book cover will sell more books. Self-publishing definitely gives the author total control.

So, I decided to go with the traditional route for a few different reasons, but I did my homework about the publisher I chose. They are awesome, by the way. As publishers go they look out for their authors. So much so that it does feel like being in a family, which is nice.

I'm still looking forward to trying my hand at self-publishing. It does have its merits.

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