Which do you prefer? Traditional publishing with the “Big Houses,” small press publishing, or self-publishing? What have you done in the past? What are the pros and cons of these choices, in your opinion. Inquiring minds want to hear from YOU!
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I started with a small press (Soul Mate Publishing) and learned so much! When I moved from Romance to Mystery, though, I was ready to self-publish and knew I would fare better financially that way. I have no regrets.
Honestly, do I wish my work was handled by a major house? No. Since my goal in writing is continual learning and continual improvement, and since my health is tricky enough that stress is not a good idea, I prefer to set my own deadlines.
I have a wonderful editor (Lourdes Venard) who contributes greatly to my books and to my learning curve, and I’m very happy with my cover artist (Dave Fymbo).
I’m interested in what others think about this question– including you, Kim! 🙂
Thanks for your feedback, Kate! I will definitely put in my two cents later on. I SO agree with you about how self-publishing lessens stress. All the way around!
I’ve published seven books in two different series with a small press (Synergebooks). To me it’s the classic half-empty/half-full debate. On the half-empty side, I share my royalties, I have only indirect pricing control, and little direct marketing support. On the half-full side, covers and editing are included (and I have say in both), formatting for all major e-retailer is taken care of, fewer legal/business issues – I’m free to focus on just writing.
That said, I’m a bit on the fence about whether to pursue self-publishing for future projects. I like the idea of more control of my work both artistically and as a business, but getting that control will take time from writing. I suspect I’d sell a similar number of books, make more in royalties, but spend more on editing, covers, etc. I could probably manage it to make more money (it wouldn’t be that hard), but at this point I’m not sure I’m really writing for the money. If I am I’m certainly doing it incorrectly.
I used to think I’d want a major house contract, but not anymore. Short of ego boosting, which is a valid thing, I’m not sure that I’d benefit either financially or as a writer – unless I was a big dog for them, and in all honesty that’s not realistic.
Thanks for your feedback, Armen. I agree about the financial aspect of writing for one of the big houses. There is quite a bit of overhead. But the pro is that most bookstores will carry it. The con is…people don’t crowd bookstores like they used to, back before you could purchase a book on an E-reader in under a minute!
FWIW, my books are available through Barnes & Noble, but you have to order them. I can’t honestly say that I’ve sold any paperbacks through their stores – maybe online, but not store orders. The other business factor in favor of self-publishing or small press is the rise of Amazon as a distribution behemoth. It’s certainly not all kumbaya and crackers, but Amazon has lessened the power of the big houses.
As a retired person, writing is more of a hobby than an attempt to earn income. I have no expectation that a big name publisher would ever be interested and, frankly, have no desire to be under their “gun”. It would be nice to have a publisher whom I could point to when marketing my books. Anyone who is considering a purchase might have more confidence in its worth. I’ll stick to self-publishing though. I have used CreateSpace three times. The process is relatively easy to follow and their technical support has always gone out of the way to help me, even without purchasing specific services they offer. The only down side I can think of for self-publishing is that the buyer must beware because anyone can self publish, whether they have a good product or not.
This is sooo true, Rick. And that’s why self-publishing still has a stigma attached to it. Although more and more popular authors are finding it more convenient.
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