Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

I’m diligently working away towards my new year’s goals.  Sent three stories off to markets yesterday (and hoping they take a while to get back to me so I can have that feeling of accomplishment for at least a few days before the stories are rejected and I have to send them out again).  Also wrote 3,000 words towards the new novel, which I’m liking a lot.

But, I’ve seen a few really good articles lately about the choice between self-publishing and traditional publishing and wanted to pop in and share them with all y’all.

The choice is purely an individual choice and won’t be the same for everyone (just like our reasons and motivations for writing are not the same), but I think it’s important to consider pros and cons of both options.  These two articles tend to favor traditional over self-publishing, but both authors have and will continue to self-publish.

Anyway.  Here are the posts:

Jennie Nash on 5 Surprises About Self Publishing (as seen on Rachelle Gardner’s blog)

She’s a mid-list author with six books published by major houses who decided to try the self-pubbed route.  Meaning she already had some fans out there when she chose this option.  You should click through and read the whole thing, but a few quotes in case you don’t.

“I didn’t think I had to build a platform. I thought that with a few flicks of the mouse, I’d quickly sell thousands of books and build a buzz that would carry me to even greater sales. It didn’t happen, so now I’m out doing what every writer has to do, which is figuring out how to connect with readers – only I’m doing it with a lot more humility.”

“Whether my book is published by a team of experts in a gleaming New York skyscraper or by me, all by myself in my office at the front of the house, nothing can dilute the feeling of having a reader connect with something I wrote.”

“Now that I am self publishing, I am no different than the crazy cat lady down the block who has been working on her memoir for 17 years or the guy at the street fair hawking Xeroxed pamphlets of his poetry about fruit.”

And Chuck Wendig on What Flavor of Publishing Will You Choose.  A few quotes:

“As such, I am a fan of self-publishing. I do it. I have self-published releases out there. I will continue to self-publish in the future. My self-published releases in 2012 will equate to approximately 20% of my total writing income, which is pretty rad. I will not tell you to never self-publish.  But, I also get to hop the fence and frolic tra-la-la in the meadow of the traditional, as well.”

“I’m going to answer the question now, up-front, with a somewhat controversial answer.  You should try the traditional route first.”

He goes on to give twelve reasons why.  (That are worth reading.  Hint, hint.)  Basically, you can still go the self-published route if traditional falls through, you get far more exposure through traditional publishing, and, most important of all, flaming unicorn comet riding.  (Need I say more?)

Personally, I’m still committed to the traditional publishing route for the time being, but I think if I do go the self-pubbed route anytime soon it’ll be for some short fiction pieces I’ve written and liked but that I don’t think really fit into any of the pro-paying publications.  (Maybe because those markets know that no one will ever want to read them.  Or maybe because they’re just odd.  The dangers of writing for yourself as opposed to tailoring your pieces towards a given market.  But that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.  And, rather than defeat myself in advance, I am still subbing those stories to markets first.  I’m just more likely to self-pub than trunk them or sell to non pro-paying markets.)

Oh, and just a reminder of my personal policy on replies to this blog.  Because, you know, my spidey sense tells me this may be needed.

Replies are welcome and I try to allow through as many as possible.  BUT.  I do reserve the right to not allow through posts if (a) I feel it’s a form post just meant to attract attention to someone else’s blog or (b) I feel it’s a post attacking me without making much of a point or (c) I just don’t want a particular person posting to my blog or (d) I think someone is posting more as a pulpit for their own ideas than to engage in any sort of actual discussion in which case they should make their own blog entry on their own blog.

(c) doesn’t mean I don’t like you.  I blocked one of my betas from posting for a while.  Of course, it could also mean I don’t like you.  (And, as always on this blog, you is not really you.  It’s some person I’m talking to in the ether who is not in fact you.)

As JohnD said in a comment over on John Scalzi’s blog “This is John Scalzi’s blog. It is emphatically *not public*; it is the virtual equivalent of his parlor, where he has graciously allowed us to stop by and visit for a bit. As this is *his* home, we must abide by *his* rules.”

This blog is my little virtual home.  I assume if someone doesn’t want to hear what I have to say, then they don’t need to visit my home.  And if they’re rude or obnoxious then I have every right to deny them entry to my home.

Oh, and I would post a photo or two of the new locale to break up all this text, but my file uploads are waaay too slow these days.  Sorry!


About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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2 Responses to Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

  1. karmicangel says:

    I’m in entirely the same boat my friend, so thanks for the links!

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