As a newbie in the industry, the main appeal for traditional publishing for me is: knowledge. I’m afraid if I self publish I will be all alone. I won’t have anyone to help me or tell me whether I’m on the right track. I could of course hire all those people more readily available in traditional publishing, but isn’t the idea of self publishing, to cut out the middle man to make more profits, and have more control?
Of course I’d get a professional cover design, and an editor, but the thing that really scares me is marketing. I have no idea at all how to market a book.
Okay well I have some ideas. In my current job I sometimes have to speak on a microphone (less often these days, but occasionally). I feel confident that I could speak at events, libraries, bookshops, etc, but what would I say? Having something to talk about is much easier when you a publishing non-fiction. Wrote a book about public speaking, demonstrate techniques whilst public speaking, at the end of the talk: here buy my book! It expands on all of this and much more!
Non fiction books are needed. People understand knowledge is power.
Fiction however…it’s entertainment. You have to somehow convince people that they should give up their leisure time to read your 80,000 word novel. How do you do that? With the blurb? With the first few pages?
Okay cool, but then after that? What am I to speak about that will encourage people to buy my collection of words? I can talk about writing, I guess… Writing a novel and having it published must give me some credibility* to write about it.
*There are some books on my shelf that I would not listen to the advice of authors purely on how unentertaining and sucky the writing was. Yet they still got published.
I’m terrified about doing self publishing because the decisions are all on me. Of course I want to be able to make decisions and have a say, but it would be nice to have someone to steer me in the right direction.
Good advice when trying to decide is to think about what I want to achieve with my novels. Do I want to earn all my income writing? Or is it just the achievement of having my book published?
For me, I’d only want to supplement my income with my novels. They have always been about writing for the love of my characters, breathing life into them, helping them to do and become what they (& I) want.
That is why I’m leaning towards Traditional publishing. I still want to work part-time during my life, for social interactions and regular income. I want my book to be a physical thing I can hold in my hands. I want to be able to put it on my shelf and feel the satisfaction of seeing my name up there.
Which route have you taken/want to/are taking? Do you argue Traditional or Self?
What are your thoughts?
Jo Carter x 🙂