Now, I talk about traditional publishing, because that’s the path I’m following for my manuscript, but let’s take a step back for a minute. How do you decide whether to go with traditional publishing, self-publishing, or some hybrid? (I happily lucked into an agency that does work with authors to do hybrid publishing, which is good for me if I want to go that route.)
Once upon a time, there weren’t a lot of options for those who wanted to publish. Now? Thanks to the internet, the possibilities are nearly endless. I could:
1. Find an agent.
2. Find a fake scam artist agent online and pay them lots of money to do nothing.
3. Submit directly to traditional publishers (those that allow this).
4. Submit directly to e-Publishers.
5. Self-publish e-books.
6. Self-publish hardcopies.
Let’s assume you decide to bypass #2 (Thanks to sites like Predators and Editors, the Absolute Write Water Cooler, and the Association of Author’s Representatives). But, still: traditional vs. self-publishing?
I did a significant amount of research on this, including talking to people that do self-publishing and reading about 1,000 blogs on both. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of each.
- I get a professional who can help guide me through the process.
- I have someone on my side, working with me to make this happen.
- I do not pay anything up-front.
- Once published, more exposure.
- With the right marketing, I’m likely to sell more copies than self-published book.
- Paying someone else to promote me, despite still having to do significant amounts of work myself.
- Less control: editors have final say over things like title and cover.
- Royalties paid only twice yearly by many publishers.
- It’s impossible to find an agent/editor. (It’s not, but I understand that it sometimes feels that way, especially before you start.)
- I get complete control over the creative process.
- It takes significantly less time. Book can be published within a couple of weeks of completion.
- It’s guaranteed. No rejection.
- Payments received monthly from some e-publishers.
- Fewer eyes on the book and less revisions could mean a less polished finished product.
- I have zero marketing experience, no editorial contacts, and do not have the slightest idea what I’m doing.
- I have to pay all upfront fees/costs. When I first started looking, that would have been about $5,000. Depending on what you’re looking for an how long your book is, hiring an editor alone can cost nearly that much.