09 Mar

Self-Publishing versus Traditional Publishing – Part One

Being a self-published author isn’t all rainbows, bubbles, and blue skies. As I delve into taking my music from my computer to something more public, I’m learning that being an indie artist of any kind isn’t.  (Don’t hold your breath just yet). In fact, being a published indie author is often hard, long, thankless work to create something that it is quite possible no one else will read. The countless hours add up as you write, re-write, find an editor (or three or four), edit, edit again, find beta-readers, incorporate feedback, revise again.

You get the point, and I haven’t even gotten to covers and promoting your work. It’s no picnic on the serene edge of a beautiful lake with luscious greenery as a backdrop while you sip on cool raspberry lemonade.

BUT – yes, thankfully, there is a but…

When you birth that book and you hold that baby (whether on a tablet or in paperback) you will cherish it because by the end you will have cried, laughed, celebrated, holed up in a room to get a way, and gone through a myriad of emotions that are only appreciated when it is you that is 100% invested in your book baby.

I started this journey as a serious writer and author at the end of December 2015 and since then I have published one full length novel, two novellas, a short story, and a few non-fiction works. I have come to appreciate the arduous labor of love and commitment it takes for anyone to make a book come to life and I hold a truckload of respect for self-published authors and indie artists in general.

Before you crap on an indie author who has labored to bring a story to life, take a moment and consider there is no full-scale team of paid employees to catch your every mistake, hold your hand as you go, do some of this time-intensive work for you so that you shine brighter, and then give you a platform and the clout to promote your books. See, traditional publishers make the magic happen for those authors – to a point.

I say to a point, because even the traditional publishing route has changed. I’m sure if you are reading this, you already know or at least suspect that. When self-publishing was taking off in 2011 and 2012 I was busy preparing to give birth to my second child and then raising him and my daughter. I missed the golden age.

However, in that time, regular publishers were going through a huge change too, floundering in this new ocean crowded by people who didn’t seem to need them but were filling the market space with books competing with theirs. GASP! SHOCK! HORROR!

When I was writing my first manuscript for book one of the Chosen Series I investigated whether it was worth publishing with a regular publisher. I looked at the math and the time-frames and the restrictive nature in which you could submit to legitimate publishers. I read success stories of Amazon authors but they’d found their way into the limelight when ebooks were still a new phenomenon. Now that field is so crowded new authors are struggling to find a voice. Where’s Waldo? Who the heck knows? Is he even in the crowd? Probably, seems everyone else is!

After a year, I am again considering whether to pursue the traditional route for my stand alone sci-fi novel that I’m editing now. Why? Time and promotion. Those two things are a linchpin to having a book that 1. gets published and 2. sells. Can I say, duh! about what that means in terms of value as a writer?

Are you an indie author? How much time do you spend on the publishing process and promotion? I’d love to hear your thoughts so drop your comments or personal experiences in the comments.

Check back in a week for the next part of this self-publishing versus traditional publishing series.

In the meantime, you may want to check out some of my books and help an indie author out.

FOCUS: How to Write a Four Week First Draft

FOCUS 4 Week Draft Cover Kindle

Want to listen to me read the blog post instead? Here it is on YouTube.