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Decisions, decisions (Traditional vs. Self-Publishing)

I am pleased to say that since I have time to actually organize my life now, I feel safe in saying that I have time to write again. I keep finding myself scribbling story ideas on little pads or scraps of paper as I work throughout the day.

I just had an interesting conversation with my friend Todd over lunch, a fellow writer. We were discussing the pros and cons of publishing with an acutal publisher vs. self-publishing.

Big publishers have been losing ground recently, not unlike the music industry with the indie movement, where artists are pursuing their dreams on their own terms. I’d agree that self-publishing is becoming more and more common, though it’s in a growing stage, like the introduction of the internet in the early 90s (bad graphics, typos and all, lol).

There have been a few self-published works that were bought and distributed by a bigger company when they gained success (“The Shack,” for example). But by self-publishing, you as the creator definitely get more control of what gets out there. I’ve heard stories of frustrated artists who worked so hard on their books, only to be disappointed with the outcome thanks to a few upper-level decisions. Yet, I know others who seem to be very pleased with the way things are going with their book.

So…options, I has dem. There are definitely pros and cons to both sides. Part of me wants to go through that “submitting to a publisher” process, and yet, the other part wants total control. My main worry is that if I self-publish, most people might be quick to discredit it, or that in my ignorance I might make some sort of critical publishing mistake that I wouldn’t have made if the publisher was there to guide me.

I can only pray the cover of my book doesn’t end up being cliched or harkening back to the fantasy covers of the 80s or 90s (the bad ones).

Oh, here’s a final thought to leave you with: how did a book series like Twilight get such amazing covers? How did a previously unknown author with no clout in the writing world get matched with such simple, symbolic–and now iconic–cover art? From where I sit, that’s almost unheard of! I hope I get that lucky ^_^

One Comment

  • Anonymous

    Break it up into more sections, throw up a website, post parts of once or twice a week like in a webcomic way. Easy to place advertising for it on other sites, place ads on your own site for revenue, at the end of the run of the novel, if it is good enough, it will have a reputation and you'll be able to self publish it fairly successfully.