Sunday, December 30, 2012

Traditional vs. Indie - Which Publishing is Better?

So I've been doing a lot of research in the last six weeks or so and I've read dozens of articles on the indie publishing trend.  Really, it was once considered the last resort for people who weren't talented enough to get published but now?  Not so much.

There are THOUSANDS of fabulous self-published books out there and they are in every genre.  Don't get me wrong, there are still bad books out there too, but not as many as we were once led to believe.  Self-publishing is no longer the "shameful" way to publish.  If anything, I'm starting to see some well-known, previously published authors (who were published under BIG name publishing houses) taking the jump over to indie publishing.

Why?  Only they know, but here's my theory.  Traditional publishing houses no longer do for their authors what they once did.  Advances are becoming a thing of the past and essentially, a large percentage of the marketing and the promotion of the book is still the responsibility of the author.  I have started following a TON of big-name author blogs that they have all started and have mailing lists to that heavily promote their upcoming books/releases.  

One author friend, who had published dozens of books for her publisher, recently had one of her submissions rejected.  Apparently, it DOES happen.  But it was a book that she had worked hard on and was proud of and she is going to self publish it.  I can only hope that she sells a TON of copies and then goes back to the publisher with a satisfied and smug look on her face.  

Back when I was doing promotional stuff for Susan Mallery, I was surprised at how little the publisher was doing for her.  She's a NY Times Best Selling Author and she came up with the brilliant idea of enlisting the help of her fans to promote her books!  Honestly, the idea completely worked for her and I bow to master on that bit of marketing genius.  

Insert bow here.

When you self-publish, you work on your own time table.  Your deadlines are more flexible and at the end of the day, a larger percentage of the royalties are yours.  What's not to like about that?

So what's the downside?  The cost of said marketing and promotion and the cost of having artwork for covers done and editing work done.  Sure, you can do it yourself but as I found out on this last book, people can be mean and harsh and nasty and when you put out a product that is less than perfect (no matter how low-cost you offer it for), everyone becomes a critic.  

I am blessed to have gotten some volunteers for the next project to proof-read for me (thank GOD!) but I will probably use a paid service for the cover art-work.  Not a HUGE amount of money but when I looked at what was available for free on CreateSpace (who I use for publishing), I'm am HIGHLY displeased.  There are plenty of services out there that provide high-quality artwork, I just have to come up with what I am looking for.  And that will come when I finally decide on a title for the darn project.

A writer's work is never done...

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