I self-published my first novel, THE RICHEST SEASON, back in 2006 and marketed it myself like crazy (just a print book back then). Within 6 months, I'd met with 40 book clubs in 10 states and sold several thousand copies by getting independent booksellers behind it. Then...I "won the literary lottery," as writer's blogs to colorfully put it. That is, I got an agent who sold that book, and a second, at auction to Hyperion Books. Both novels has since been translated into multiple languages and have garnered awards.
My 3rd novel, THE BOOK LOVER, which debuts May 1, actually gives the backstory of how I did this to one of my characters, a struggling author. It's been called "The most honest story about the world of books I've read" (Rob Dougherty, Clinton Books).
I think the most important thing about self-publishing is keeping control over your "baby!" The best thing about traditional is national distribution, but even that is changing. I'm new to this site, and have been lax about blogging, but this is something I'm going to be talking about, as well.
Thank you so much for your advice and congrats on your success.
the obvious points:
self pub gets more money per book for the author and more creative control
trad pub gets you quality editors, covers, blurbs from industry people, and membership into certain groups like mystery writers of america etc.
heres a good post:
Thanks I figured as much I suppose I just wanted a push in the decision making process :)
I recently interviewed award winning author Linda Gillard about this very topic - please read the interview on my blog http://missaliblahblah.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/linda-gillard-inter... and if you haven't read any of Linda's books yet there are links to all her books for kindle in the interview. Hope you find it interesting!
Thank you I will read the interview thanks for the link :)
If you like marketing, advantage is you keep more for the sale of each book. I have always published traditionally on royalty basis. But kindle, nook, and CS has changed the whole publishing concept. I am one of players in this new game. I wish you all the very best.
"We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly": http://amzn.to/dMBLWW
Thanks so much for sharing :)
My books are published traditionally, but through a smaller press (Twilight Times Books). Obviously, I can only tell you about my own experience, but I feel like I've found a wonderful compromise. On the one hand, my publishing contract is very generous and gives me a much higher share in the profits than any big press. On the other hand, my books have gone through multiple editing runs for quality assurance and have nationwide distribution.
As a reader, I don't trust self-published books. No one but the author was willing to invest in the product, and there are no standards whatsoever. YES, I KNOW, you can follow certain rules on your own, hire an editor, and put out a quality product, but that doesn't mean I can trust it. The simple fact is that the vast majority of the self-published work I have *tried* to read was not ready for publication, and leaves me with the impression that the author grew impatient while waiting to improve their craft to a publishable level. But let's say, for the sake of argument, that you did everything right. You have a fantastic story, hired an editor, put together a nice cover, and have a quality product to offer. You're still fighting an uphill battle because you've got to convince people, one by one, to give you a shot. From a reader's perspective, I feel like self-published authors are asking me to be the slush pile reader, and believe me, there's a lot of slush. A lot of reviewers agree, and it can be difficult to find people willing to review a self-published book. For my part, I've done it before and might do it again, but I need a recommendation first.
Marketing is difficult no matter which option you choose. I don't think authors realize ahead of time the publication is only the beginning. Maybe you've sold it to a publisher -- congrats -- but now you have to sell it to the public. Stories of successful self-publishing are out there, and maybe you could add to the collection. But marketing is already a lot of work. I like having someone at my back. Since I've gone with a small publisher, that someone is readily accessible and easy to work with. (I've heard it can be more difficult with bigger presses.)
I agree with you completely. There are no standards in self-publishing, which means that I'm far more likely to pick up a self-published book that hasn't been edited and could use a few more drafts than to pick up something that I'll actually enjoy. Finding a good one is like finding a needle in a haystack. Feeling the urge to whip out a red pen while reading is a big turnoff, especially when I can pick up a book from a traditional publisher and be relatively certain that it's been proofed. One other thing to think about is that most libraries won't accept many self-published books for the same reasons--a lack of quality control. Buying books from a major publisher means access to professional reviews and evaluations, which play a major role in collection development.
Thanks for your comment I was not aware that libraries do not accept self-published material.
Not only libraries; even Wikipedia will not consider you an author worth adding there, if you're self-published. There is lot of prejudice against self-published and perhaps rightfully so. Anyone can publish and call him/her an author.
"We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly":http://amzn.to/dMBLWW