Saturday, April 11, 2009

Traditional or Self-Publishing: Which Is Best?

Many people deal with this getting-published issue when writing their books. Finding an agent first and then the long struggle to find a publisher for your work can be discouraging. People often give up after numerous rejections and decide to self-publish.

I am published traditionally which means my books are contracted and I receive a advance on royalties, royalty statements and checks covering new royalty payments twice a year, a guarantee of a certain number of author books mailed to me free of charge. My books are distributed by major distributors to bookstores and retail and grocery stories across the US and Canada and are sometimes translated into other languages and sold in other countries.

My books are also promoted by my publisher with advertising through the mail, in publisher catalogues and on varous media such as radio and TV spots and in magazines. They also do mailing campaigns and offer special discounts to encourage new readers.

The hard part is writing a book that can pass through a committee of people to deem it worthy of publication, meaning you have provided an excellent product that will appeal to the publishers readership. If you are rejected, this can mean several things. Your project doesn’t meet their current needs, someone has written a book too similar to yours, you’ve submitted a genre that doesn’t match their publishing needs or their mission statement, or that your work is not ready for publication.

Continuing to hone your craft is a good element of rejection. No matter how many novels you’ve written, continuing to learn to be the best author you can is vital to making an impact on readers and bringing in new ones. Few readers buzzes about a bad novel – except family and friends.

Once you sell your novel, you will work with your editor along with a copy and line editor to produce the best book you can. They will provide excellent artist to produce your cover and they will write the back cover blurb (unless you choose otherwise) and take care of all the copyright on your novel. You may have the opportunity to approve the cover and the blurb, but this often depends on the publisher.

Self-publishing and POD publishing (Print on Demand) often puts the burden on the author to edit, revise, create a cover, write a back blurb as well as market, promote and distribute their own product.

If you want to know more about self publishing, this link provides thoughtful information to help you make a wise decision.


Brandie said...

Thanks for this look at both options. I have read veiwpoints from people who have self published, but I didn't know as much about the details of traditional. This was interesting!

Gail Gaymer Martin said...

Hi Brandie - Glad you found the blog helpful. I try to present all views on things. Glad it helped you.