I’m torturing myself. I feel like I’m standing outside of myself with all sorts of tools of torture at my own disposal. It’s like I’m forcing myself to listen to techno music day and night in a freezing cold room while watching someone brush their teeth over and over again. I hate techno music. I cry when I’m cold. I abhor seeing someone brush their teeth. All of these things make me physically sick. But I feel as though I’m doing it to myself.
No, I have not gone certifiably insane. I’m simply trying to decide whether to self publish or pursue traditional publishing. I’m torn! Generally, I’m not an indecisive person. I’m the type of person who makes up their mind, then goes about getting things done already. This is so unlike me. Let me tell you why I’m struggling.
Traditional publishing seems safer. The author has a whole team of people whose entire professional existence centers around publishing. They’ve done it hundreds of times before. They know what works and doesn’t work. They know what sells. And most importantly, they assume a great part of the risk. Then there’s the potential for contracts that tie up the author’s future work. Which is great, since the author is guaranteed publication, but not so great if the author is not exactly over joyed with the way the publishing house handled their original project. Also, there is the prospect of a LOT of revisions and the author not having as much say in the final product as they would like. Plus, these days the author assumes a lot of responsibility when it comes to marketing and promoting their product. Like, a LOT.
Self-publishing is risky, BUT if the author has an outstanding product the pay off can be out of this world. The author has full control and full responsibility for every step of the process. The author is responsible for either becoming an expert on everything pertaining to publishing, or contracting out for people who are already experts. The author essentially becomes a small business owner and has to invest a LOT of time and money in order to be successful. This could potentially cut into the time needed to actually WRITE. But, the finished product is exactly as the author orininally intended and they have full exectutive control.
Here’s the thing: I’m an independent person by nature. The people closest to me all say that I prefer to have things done my way. And that’s when they’re being nice about it. So naturally, self-publishing feels right. However, when I start to be a little introspective I wonder if fear of rejection is what’s keeping me from pursuing traditional publishing. Then I think, “Well, if fear of rejection is my problem, why aren’t I afraid to self-publish? People could just as easily reject my independent project by NOT buying it.”
So, this post resolved nothing. I felt like rambling and getting this off my chest, so I did. The. Struggle. Is. So. Real. Somebody pray for me.
How do you feel about independent vs traditional publishing? If you’ve been blessed to do both what was your take-a-way from each? Help a sista’ out!