Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing – who comes out on top? Did you even know there’s a difference? Some don’t. Others do and choose one side or the other to publish their writing. Neither side is perfect – both are equally flawed with their pro’s and con’s and struggles and rewards. As a writer who hopes to publish a book, choosing which way to go can be a daunting challenge. Recently, while perusing my way through the Twitterverse, I stumbled upon a writer who says this in their profile:
I’m a writer who believes in traditional publishing. I just cant pat myself on the back, call myself a writer, then self publish my own book.
I laughed. I admit it. As a self-published writer I know how hard it is to do it all myself. I’ve never even attempted to go the way of traditional publication: submitting my work to dozens if not hundreds of agents or publishers with the hope that someone would ‘bite’ and take me under their wing, then rip apart my work with an expensive editor until it fits perfectly into the mainstream genre box they deem appropriate. And then one waits for publication date – and it doesn’t always come. If it does, the publisher, designer, editor, etc…gets their cut of the profits, leaving the author with a fraction. Of course, on the flip-side, having an editor go through your work, a publisher to market for you and someone to professionally design a book cover are ALL great points.
Self-publishing is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a do it yourself job or hire help. I’m not an editor, nor am I a graphic designer, so I NEED help for those things, but the creative input is there to be a part of the process every step of the way. After writing, editing, formatting, creating, designing, publishing and promoting/marketing – the Self-Published Author is exhausted. Though most times – pretty happy. I would say that all writers deserve a pat on the back for simply writing a story. Not every person writes a book, tho many WANT to. Far less actually release the book they wrote to the public. Publishing is a big deal, period. As it should be. So, back to the point on that very little and simple Twitter profile bio – loads of successful books have been written and published by Self Publishers. I know several very talented Self-Published Authors. We don’t do this merely for a pat on the back (tho sometimes to remain sane, one simply must acknowledge their hard work and remind themselves that they are doing what they love – their way). Again, the flip-side of this publishing coin is that anyone and their mother can publish a book if they wanted to, which means those who shouldn’t write are actually publishing EVERY DAY. Don’t let the ones that probably shouldn’t release a book diminish the fact that there are thousands of amazing self-published books out there waiting to be discovered. I personally think it’s much harder to do it all yourself and be successful than hand your work over to someone else and hope for the best.
Remember Indies (Independent writers) make up some great stuff. Give them a chance, and you’ll see that Traditional Publishing isn’t the ONLY way to do it and have fun. Happy Reading!