People insisting that their opinion is the only one that is correct, or the only one that matters.
It annoys me.
The article in question I’m talking about comes from Bookbaby – which I normally love their articles – called “Should you follow the traditional or self publishing path? Numbers point the way”.
The post gives you all these kinds of statistics to explain to you that it’s clear more money is made through self publishing as the author gets a bigger cut. This is true. Cut out the middle person and you cut out their expenses earning a bigger profit.
However they fail to mention something vital:
IT REALLY ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT THE AUTHOR’S EXPECTATIONS ARE AND WHAT THEY ARE WILLING TO PUT IN.
That’s it. Seriously. Whether or not you choose traditional or self publishing all depends on your goals and what you are willing to do to reach them.
Take me for an example: I want to be published. I’m not just writing my novel for willy nilly pleasure. I enjoy doing it and I’d like to make money out of it. However considering I always do plan to have some sort of regular day job type of income I’m not too fussed about making millions. Sure I’d LOVE to become rich due to my novels, but I’m more concerned about having the physical book. I want to hold it in my hands and put it on my shelf. Do I want to worry about cover design? No! Do I trust myself to have the final say in the editing and know that the book is polished? Certainly not for the first novel I’m putting out.
Do you see what I’m saying?
Sure statistics are great! They are nice to look at. They are nice to dream about a life where you really did get all the cut from the sales.
Pst. You still wouldn’t even when self publishing.
Cover design cost money. If you want to stand out from the millions of novels in the world you need a professional looking cover. Not one made from Paint or Publisher.
Editing services are a must! Readers don’t like getting jolted out of the novel because the wrong “their” was used or spelling is incorrect. Even the best writers need another set of eyes. And no just Mum’s or Grandpa’s. A professional editor who can tell you exactly where the comma should go and why you shouldn’t use a semicolon in that sentence. P.S. Professional editors cost money too.
Whilst this article points you to their clear correct choice: self publishing, they fail to mention all of these key things.
What if you want physical books? Are you going to fork out the money to produce them? Are you going to talk to bookstores and convince them to stock them?
Yes in traditional publishing authors are now expected to play a more active role in advertising, however there is much that goes on in publishing a novel that is left off when people just come back with, “oh but you get the majority of the profits by self publishing”. I wonder how much it is after all the bills to get it up and out there have been paid.
Whether a person decides to do traditional or self publishing is all up to them. What they want. What they expect. What they are willing to do.
I know there’s talk about the “golden gates of publishing” which are hardly ever open to the public, but honestly… I don’t blame publishers for not investing in authors they don’t think will sell. Publishing is a business. Businesses need to make money.
Yes I know J. K. Rowling wasn’t accepted until like her millionth submission, but there are a number of reasons why she might not have been accepted. There are dozens of articles on the net explaining things like
- The submission guidelines weren’t followed
- The agency wasn’t right for the genre
- They couldn’t afford to invest in more books at the time
- The agent queried to wasn’t into that type of book
- The grammar & spelling was so terrible they couldn’t focus on the novel itself
- The idea is overdone
- The agent liked it but when it came to the decision the person with social media was picked
- The agent was having a bad day
- Personal issues made the agent dislike the book (they are people after all)
The list could go on.
If I hear people complaining about how they can’t get past the gates of publishing all I’m going to think is they are sour and annoyed agents have rejected them.
Newsflash: you probably don’t want to be traditionally published enough.
If you want something that bad nobody is going to be able to stop you. You’d keep working on it and working on it.
Because you want it. Because you know that your story is worth it even if it takes time.
Gosh that turned into quite the rampage.
In a nutshell: It honestly depends on the person in question as to whether they should traditional or self publish.
And hey even if they pick one, it doesn’t mean they can’t change for the next novel – Or even the same one! Republishing 🙂
P. S. Sorry if I was a bit aggressive with the use of “you”. I’m not directing this at anyone in particular I’m just voicing my opinion on my humble little blog x