You are one of those confused authors who doesn’t know what to choose . Chances are , you’ve already read a several others talk about how the means of publishing don’t matter outside of NYC . They’ve told you about how publishers don’t help you with marketing-so traditional publishing doesn’t help , right ? But why are most of those who advise you themselves are traditional published authors ? What is it that they don’t tell you ?
Many established bloggers don’t accept the works of Indie authors for review . It’s not like they’re wronging self-published authors , but honestly , most of the self-published books are not worth reading because they are poorly written . I do mean ‘most’ , but not all . And your publisher could get you a review a from one of these . Now how would you get some of the best blogs out there to review yours if you don’t have publisher ? You can’t , it’s simple .
Have you ever wondered why no self-published author has grown as popular as many traditional published authors have ? Because they don’t write good books ? No . It’s simply that people are wary of indie books . Their pattern of thinking : if a publishing house sees the book as worthy enough -wouldn’t it really be an amazing read ? Forget the fact that a lot of published books -example , the infamous Twilight saga-were approved by Publishers and agents .
The ultimate truth is , you gain more from being a traditional published author . But is this a good thing ? Personally , I feel that more authors should go towards self-publishing , no matter what . I don’t see why to give equities to agents and publishers when the book can belong to you. Plus , being an indie author gives you more control than you could ever hope for as a traditional published author .
What does this mean for you ? If you are confident about your writing skills and marketing skills , go for self-publishing . You can hopefully tackle the problem of exposure by getting more reviewers instead of getting a few established bloggers .. The result will be the same : More exposure . A good book will always get recognised , given that your marketing skills are okay .
If you’re confident about your writing skills but not your marketing skills , you should definitely get yourself an agent to search a publisher for you . Marketing is the toughest part and self-publishing with no marketing skills will get you nowhere .
Traditional publishers also have the one thing you , as an indie , can’t get . Real experienced editors , cover designers , proof-readers , etc . Most experienced people in the industry indeed work under the traditional publishers and I haven’t seen any indie with access to many experienced people in the industry .
On the other hand , giveaways and other promotions are easily done as an indie author because you don’t have to get permission from your publisher . But even this little thing will work only if you have creativity and can think of the exposure of the promotion itself .
I recently had the pleasure of talking to and getting Dawn Husted’s opinion on small press . She thinks that the scope of indie authors has widened and that only a handful per 100 bloggers reject indie authors . She also adds that the cover is exactly what gets your book rejected or accepted , along with a good blurb . I couldn’t agree more to what she pointed out .
“Compared to years ago when I launched my first book, I think the stigma has changed toward indie published books. This time, I only found a handful of bloggers out of 100 that didn’t accept self-published work. However, I think if a cover isn’t good, then the blogger’s first impression won’t be good, and the author will have less of a chance of hearing back from them. This being said, IMO a traditional publisher has a much bigger reach than me, as an indie.”
She thinks that indie authors do need to get a good book cover , a real editor , and should strategically work on reaching a wider audience . One more point she added , which I can’t emphasis more , is that the authors should actually create good books and not crap .
“BUT, if I have a good cover, obtain a good editor, and I go about launching my book strategically, then my hope is that I will reach a wide audience. I’ve also heard from numerous indies (big timers) that the larger Backlist a self-published author has, the better sales they will receive down the road. The lesson isn’t to publish a bunch of crappy books, but to produce a bunch of polished ones.”
And since the talk of small press came up , I’ll add my two cents about that as well . What exactly is a small press ?
Small press : A publisher whose yearly sales doesn’t hit a certain amount . Their marketing base is also low .
Small press don’t exactly have a huge marketing base and you certain as hell won’t be hitting the “Bestseller” of anywhere with only their marketing help (assuming they offer it ) . But in most cases , they don’t offer that either . Where does that leave you ? Hanging by with little sales . The pro is that you get an editor , a designer and all those people without spending a shilling . But is this good in long term ? I don’t think so . Why ? Because you can probably get back the money you invested on the designing , etc if your book sales go up . And since you are basically the one shouldering the major marketing problem , why would you want to give the control over your book away ?
The way I see it , you will make more profit as an indie than you will as a small press published one . But if you do go with small press be sure to : look at the quality of their backlist, ask a selection of authors about their experience, make sure you understand their contracts, etc. Please don’t skip the part of actually checking about the press because that might be worst mistake you could ever make .
I do believe Traditional publishing is good . But self-publishing might work out well for you if you actually know how to play in the book industry .
What is it that you are going with ?