Thursday, 16 August 2012

Traditional Publishing or Doing it Indie?

I’m in a quandary.
Isn’t that a lovely word? Hardly ever used nowadays, so I thought I’d add it to my repertoire.
Anyway, as the title suggests, that’s my dilemma.
Image by me!

I’m faced with a decision. Do I pursue my original course and publish my debut novel with CS, then release it as an ebook on Kindle by the end of August, or go the traditional route, and find myself a publisher?

Anyone who’s familiar with my blog, would know how I decried the power of the Big Five publishing houses, and the time they take to answer author submissions – if they ever do. The lure of going it ‘indie’ is a great temptation. Yet, deep down, what author doesn’t want to be accepted by the experts in the business, earn that coveted book contract, and enjoy the ‘legitimacy’ of being published by a ‘real’ publisher?
Yet, very few writers experience that, and those who do probably had to wait years before finally seeing their books on the New Releases shelf in their local bookstore. And isn’t that what we writers want? I know I do. I dream of it! And if I self-publish, that's not going to happen. Oh, it'll be available as an ebook, but to walk into a bookstore and point to a shelf with my book on it and say, 'I wrote that,' is inestimable!
Image courtesy of google Advanced search free to reuse

Today I entered my manuscript in a competition aimed at finding a new Aussie author. Even though my book is due for release at the end of this month, I couldn’t resist the lure of trying one more time. The last competition I entered, I came runner-up. Maybe, this time it’ll do better. Who knows?
I also sent it off to a well-known editor, who has the ear of publishers in this country. If she likes my manuscript, and sees the marketing value, she’ll recommend it.

So, back to my original quandary. Should I hold off self-publishing; wait those four to six weeks for my manuscript to be assessed? Wait till December when the results of the competition will be announced, or hang it all, and go indie?

If it’s the former, than I need to change the date on my book trailer on Youtube.

I hate life-changing decisions!

If anyone has any suggestions, I’m listening.
Should I wait or go ahead with self-pub on CS??????


Diane said...

Hello Tima,
I DO understand your quandary - 'been there, done that' as they say. If you self-publish, you still retain the copyright, and, if you are later fortunate enough to find a traditional publisher, you can easily re-publish. There are pluses and minuses against both types of publishing: Self-publishing still has a slight stigma attached to it, though I feel that the stigma is fading a little. If you manage your marketing, then you can reach out to a reasonably large section of the community, and, hopefully, you may even make a small profit. One of the big pluses is that you are always in control. Traditional publishing has a MUCH wider scope and much more efficient means of marketing, which means that your book will reach many more people (and, of course, it will also appear on bookshop shelves), but, unless you sell LOTS of books, it will be the publisher making the profit, not you. Also, a traditional publisher/bookseller will only keep the book on the shelf as long as it is bringing in some kind of a profit; once sales dwindle, the book will be removed, and you have nothing to say about it, because you are no longer in control. I think that it is important to keep in mind that traditional publishers of today are not really interested in you or your book, they are interested in making money - that is what it is all about. I suppose you have to weigh that sensation of seeing your book on the shelf of a bookshop against the satisfaction of getting what you have written into the hands of as many people as possible (or, should I say, as soon as possible). It would be very depressing to have your book 'ready to go' and then spend several years trying to get a traditional publisher interested in publishing it. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Tima Maria said...

Hi Diane,

Thanks for that helpful comment. I agree with you on all aspects. It's just a matter of weighing up the pros and cons. I'd love to release my book this month, but I'm just as curious to see how far I get in the literary comp. Perhaps I could wait another three months? And, if it doesn't work out, at least I'll have a great book to release in time for the festive season. After all, my story is set two weeks before Christmas!