A lot has happened to me in the past couple of months. I got more involved with Twitter to the point of addiction. There I met some awe inspiring authors. They brought to may attention a side of publishing I never considered. Self-publishing.
For years I have been perfecting my writing in hopes of one day being chosen among the thousands to have my book published by a Trade publishing house. I soaked up agent and publisher blogs on writing advice, query letters and of course the horrible odds. Still, I heard the best way to beat the odds was to write a great book. But that's not completely true. Great books are being passed up because publishers only have so many slots to fill. So, then I started looking into the self-publishing/indie movement. I weighed my options and here are the pros and cons of both and my thoughts on them.
Traditional Publishing route:
-You get and advance up front. This can be anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 as a reasonable estimate for new authors.
-Placement in brick-and-mortar stores like Barnes and Noble. (I don't know about you but my Barnes and Noble has shrunk the amount of paperback books they carry. On whole, they take up a quarter of the store. So, this is not really impressive anymore.)
-The prestige of being published buy a trade publishing house (I thought about this and decided that the only people I need the approval of is my readers.)
-Possible promotional push (Not likely unless they think you'll be a bestseller)
-Free editing by professionals
-Commissioned cover art
-Book contracts (Now if you have a good agent, they should help you navigate this)
-Low royalty rates
-Danger of publishing house going out of business (This has happened with several small publishing houses, and in this market who knows?)
-15% of your payment goes to the agent
-Odd/offbeat genres not wanted
-The danger of having your series cancelled after the contracted books are completed
-Time and frustration spent on the phone/email with publisher, editor, or agent (Yeah, they have other authors as well)
-Publisher controls cover art, deadline, and publishing schedule
-Backlist orphaned (No I wouldn't have one yet. but I have heard a few horror stories)
-Higher royalties per sale, both ebooks and print
-Real Sales numbers (I'm the kind of person who likes to know this and I'm not sure if you can get this with trade publishing)
-The ability to fix typos
-Branding control over covers, blurbs, typesetting, and layout
-Deadline and Publishing schedule control
-Genre control, you no longer have to write to type (And yes I see a lot of this in tradition publishing. It's why we have the back tattooed heroine in leather pants in Urban Fantasy.)
-Control of backlist (when you have one)
-Learning Curve (Hey, we're all bound to make mistakes)
-No up front advance money
-Expenses before you've earned anything-(artwork, editing, formatting, marketing...Now depending on if you know a few people, there are workarounds.)
-No respect, leads to problematic placement in brick-and mortar stores (so?), certain blogs will not review you, and other looks down their nose at you.
-Time and headache spent formatting
So, I have spent the last few month reading many different sites and have decided to self-publish. I have set a goal to have A PRESCRIPTION FOR DELIRIUM published by my birthday. That's August 26th. It's a tight schedule but I'm confident I can get it down. I've met a lot of great people who are happy to help make this possible.
Now, this is a personal decision. If anyone feels that they want to go the traditional publishing route then more power to them. In fact, my readers, which do you prefer?