The Big Debate


I have been reading a ton of articles on writing and everything related to writing.  Editing, covers, query letters, agents, publishing.  Everything I could get my hands on.  It has become a bit of a madness, an obsession, a monster consuming my soul. And it has brought me to this huge debate that I didn’t even know was going on in the back of my mind.

Self-publishing. To be or not to be. Some of you may know that I did self-publish my first book.  Don’t go looking for it, it is no longer available for purchase.  I thought about it long and hard and decided that my book was not ready for the world to see and it needed a ton of work!  It is now in the stages of a re-write and has been taken down all across the board.

After I took my book down I decided that I wanted to go for traditional publishing.  I wanted someone to read my book, think it worthy of the world, publish it, and do all the marketing for me.  What drove this decision was the marketing aspect.  I don’t know how to market my own book.  I don’t know where to go, what to do, who to contact.  I am at a loss.  I don’t have a group of other writers that I meet with and hang out with, and I don’t know a lot of other authors in the writing world.  I follow some of their blogs, but they don’t follow mine.

Now  I am seriously considering things again, now that my muse has been shaken awake and forced to go to work.  Believe me, it was no easy task to wake her up, she likes sleep as much as I do and I have enough trouble keeping myself awake. I’m not sure what to do.  Do I continue on my quest for traditional publishing, or just really get elbows deep into the self-publishing world?

You know how much I love a good list.  I decided to make a short list of things, I would do a graph, but I’m not sure how to put that into my post with out more work than it’s worth.

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional (This is only what I have so far.)

  1. Traditional- Someone will bring in my work fix it up and market it for me.  I won’t have to take any money out of my own pocket.
  2. Self-publishing- Can be cheap, but only if you don’t want a good editor or artist for the book cover.
  3. Traditional- They already have editors waiting to look at your mangled mess of a book.
  4. Self-publishing- I can pick my own editor based on their previous work.  I can shop around and find the best deal and the best person for my book.
  5. Traditional- They have artist on staff, ready to create a beautiful cover for my book.
  6. Self-publishing – I actually get a say in what my cover looks like. Also, as with an editor, I have the freedom to shop around and find the best artist for my cover.
  7. Traditional – They take a really high percentage of my book sales.  And my books are high priced.
  8. Self-publishing – Amazon takes like…10% of my sales.  I set the price of my book.  If you have ever looked at CreateSpace (the site used for amazon self-publishing) you can set a price on the book and they will tell you how much of that price you actually make off the book.  So in reality, you can set how much you make off of each book sold.
  9. Traditional – Chances are, your publisher will make arrangements for book signings, appearances, and events.
  10. Self-Publishing – While you are setting up most of your events yourself, you have the choice of where you go. And if you are a successful author you can eventually hire and assistant to do all that stuff for you.

I am sure there is more to consider. A ton more to consider.  My biggest struggle right now is the fact that I am working part time in a retail position.  My money is very limited.  Not only am I thinking about self-publishing, but I am also trying to get another business started.

I have scouted out a few artist that I find amazing and would love to have them do cover art for my books.  I actually contacted one a little over a year ago.  She has amazing talent, but I couldn’t afford her.  She was only asking 400 for cover art, with a chance of extra fees for costume and models. And editors are crazy expensive.  Where does one find the funds to start the process of self-publishing?

I guess the real question is how much do I want this? What am I willing to sacrifice to publish?


3 thoughts on “The Big Debate

  1. Rachel says:

    You bring up all valid points. It certainly is a tough decision. I’m pretty much in the same boat as you. I would prefer to do traditional publishing (mainly because I have no idea what I’m doing). However, it would be nice to self-publish just to get my foot in the door. Plus, if you do traditional publishing, most publishers want you to have an agent which is an extra step in itself–a very, very long process.

    I would just keep doing research like you have been and explore all your options. You mentioned CreateSpace, but you might have a better fit for PubIt by Barnes and Noble or Abbott Press by Writer’s Digest.

    As for the marketing, in this day and age it’s all about social media. Be as active as you can be on your blog. Comment on posts of blogs you follow as well as blogs you don’t follow. Then there’s Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. It’s constant work, but it helps in the long run.

    Good luck. 🙂

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