Traditional vs Self-Publishing

Posted: September 15, 2012 in Discussions, On Writing
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Writers nearly everywhere are in a debate over whether to go traditional routes with publishing (by going to the big wigs who have pumped out millions of books over the years) or self-publishing (online as in ebooks).

While various self-publishing websites have made it increasingly easy for the writer to publish their own work, there are many factors to contemplate before going this route.

-Since you would be “self-publishing” that means you have to edit on your own work, or pay someone to do it for you, instead of a publishing company taking care of it

-You have to create your own cover

-You have to promote your own book

-A self-published, ebook author can expect to sell around one hundred copies, whereas with a publisher, they will sell your work to libraries and book stores, helping you get way past the hundred copies sold mark

-You get little to no feedback on your work when self-publishing, besides your sales numbers

There are also factors to consider when publishing through the traditional route.

-Time invested. It could take years, decades even, for a publishing company to accept and publish your work, or you may never get published at all.

-Books published by big companies are held to a higher standard, also making acceptance harder.

-And I could imagine that these publishing companies see thousands of manuscripts a month, and yours could easily be lost among them or set aside and forgotten (as I believe they often do with my work as I never hear back from them when I’m supposed to)

Basically, there’s no right or wrong way to get published. It’s completely up to you, how much work you want to put into it, how long you’re willing to wait, how much money you’re willing to invest, and what you, as a writer, feel most comfortable with.

I am going the traditional route. I think it’s better for me because I have an opportunity to see if the publishers like my work or not. If not, and I am rejected, it shows me that either it’s not what they’re looking for, or I need to work some more on the piece submitted.

Another thing to consider when chosing a route for publication is the fact that most publishers will not consider a story that has been previously self-published, as it will help their competitor (the self-publishing company) with sales. Publishing companies don’t want left overs, they want a hot, steaming, fresh entre. Besides that, if you never send your work in to other’s scrutiny, how are you supposed to know if your work is even worth publishing? You may think yours is, but how do you really ever know unless you take that leap and send it to someone who has read thousands of stories and novels and who knows what is expected of your work. These people know a good story when they see it, I believe so at least (for whatever that’s worth).

Please feel free to comment. I’d love to hear back from you!

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