Discover more from Small Steps Forward to Becoming an Author
Self-Publish or Traditional Publish
Should I Self-Publish or Traditional Publish?
First off, let’s be clear. I am NOT an author until I am published. I am a writer!
So, Which Way Should I Go?
It depends on where I want to put my energy. For example, do I want to search for an agent/publisher (which is daunting, frustrating, painful, and time-consuming) or do everything myself (also time-consuming)?
I decided to do both and share my journey with you all.
Self-Publishing—the Indie Author
When I self-publish my book, I’ll be called an Indie Author.
Some people believe you are not a real author if you self-publish.
Do I think that? No. I believe when you self-publish, you learn quite a bit about the publishing industry—which are powerful skillsets.
I plan to self-publish one of my manuscripts to understand how it works—the pros and cons. Then, I will post what I learn as I move through that process.
I don’t believe self-publishing is the easy route. It will cost me some money, and I will be responsible for EVERYTHING:
Editing (there are many types),
Book construction (layout) for ebook, hardback, and paperback,
Publishing on self-publishing sites,
Sales and marketing, book signing tours, etc.
Of course, I could skip the formal editing, design my book cover, and post my book for sale online. That would be the easiest way to go. However, I risk that my book won’t be adequate, and my readers will notice! I have seen some lousy writing out there because indie authors skip these crucial steps.
I plan to have my manuscript edited by a professional (both developmental and line-edited). Amazon does a reasonably good job of helping with the book layout (I’m not worried about that).
Yet, I’m not sure I want to try and get my book into the big bookstores or not. I don’t have the connections and network of a publisher. Therefore, when I end up self-publishing, I realize my book will not be in the big bookstores.
What I like best about self-publishing is that I receive higher royalties.
But that comes with a price—I need to market the book myself. Talk about time consuming and costly. And remember, I am going to pay for someone to edit my book and design a book cover—also costly.
Follow me. I will announce when I start this process. But first, I am working on Traditional Publishing.
See next section.
Traditional Publishing provides the writer with a lot more assistance!
Agents support the writer and provide the resources and network to pitch your book to publishers (hopefully the big publishers). In addition, they assist with the contract, license, and rights negotiations.
Reputable publishers provide the editing, design cover, illustrations (if needed), and layout (at no charge)! If a publisher charges you any money, run away fast!
Publishers can get your book online and in bookstores. They coordinate the book signings and the marketing. Their interest is in selling as many books as possible. Note: They still expect the author to assist with marketing and book signings.
They do this at a cost to the writer—meaning the writer receives less in royalties.
But if I sell more books, I might make more money than self-publishing. Basically, I am betting on the publisher to sell more books (that’s their job).
I’m in the middle of this process with a children’s picture book, The Day I Saved Christmas.
When I first started, I was lost and spent considerable time researching the publishing industry.
And wow! I have found some excellent tools, apps, and websites that have helped tremendously.
Follow me, and I will share all that I learn.