I thought a lot about my next upcoming book, How to Win Friends and Influence Magicians, and what I was going to do about publishing. It was long enough to be accepted by publishers, so should I go Traditional? I was feeling pretty bummed about my lack of success with my indie sales, and wondering what to do about it. Also, we are dipping into our personal finances to pay for editing, etc. but I’m not paying that back.
Pros for Traditional Publishing:
- I could conceivably put in $0 for writing and submitting to publishers, with the right group. (no editing ahead of time, which is risky, and with one that accepts digital submissions).
- I would get their expertise and possibly their sales channels.
- I would get paid so I could be not sucking money out of our finances.
Cons for Traditional Publishing:
- I would lose all rights to my manuscript
- I would have to wait until accepted, then wait until they published it–delayed gratification–possibly years.
- I would have to change the book to their specifications.
- I would have to accept their terms and would be limited by the deal I originally made.
- My work would be priced by them, not by me, so I would have no say in how much it would cost my readers to read my work.
- I might be required to do more than online promotion, which would take time away from my family.
- I really want to self-publish because I enjoy it.
So after talking to my hubby, we decided to keep self-publishing for now. Money speaks loudly but not more than time and convenience.
I was feeling really moody about the decision still until I read an article by another self-published author who said that she wasn’t really getting steady sales until 2 or 3 years after she started. That opened my eyes a bit. I have been “published” for only 6 months! I’ve been blogging for only a year, and really my whole platform is only a year old. I don’t need to be fretting about low sales yet. So I’m not going to.
How to Win Friends and Influence Magicians will be published by me this summer!
Publishing is really like a beginning business. The 2 to 3 year rule holds true in many cases, not just for publishing. However, keep in mind that you need to look into the fine print of publishers. They only buy the rights for a certain amount of time, generally for the first three years of publication. Some times vary, but they usually don’t go any higher than three years. Every publisher is going to be different. No author completely loses the rights to their work, and speaking from personal experience, and assuming the publisher you find is legitimate, you will have a say in cover design, etc. It is good to be wary of things, but try not to be overly worried about it— no matter what publisher you go with, self-publishing or otherwise, you should expect to put SOME money into marketing, at least. I still find that a traditional publisher is worth it for me, simply because I don’t have the money for the initial start-up, printing, cover deisigners, etc. What route you go always depends on your personal experience, and you can find success with either. In a nutshell, you’re a great writer, Kate, so no matter HOW you do it, you are getting your voice and your words out there, and that’s what matters! Keep it up.