A Rock & A Hard Place

publishing issues

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!


8 thoughts on “A Rock & A Hard Place

  1. I say try the traditional route and see what happens. In the meanwhile, be working on something else. And no matter what you decide, the important thing is how readers are responding to your work. If your readers like your book, if you decide to go indie you’ll be confident that with a little marketing savvy your book will do just fine. I think you could be happy with either route, honestly, so good luck.


    • Thanks Quanie, that’s sound advice. Another author told me the same thing. It’s starting to sink in. I’m already outlining my next novel, I just want the first one out already! Patience is a much needed virtue in this business, so I guess I need to put it into practice.


  2. Hi Faith,

    I would go by the self-published route to be honest. It’s for testing how the audience like my book without spending too much money.

    But I’m not an author yet. I do like writing things and I have been compiling them but I couldn’t say call myself an author “yet”.

    I’ve had an online self-publishing company that I saved for when I decide that Im ready to publish and it’s bookbaby.com. They’re put your ebooks on all major ebook stores (like amazon, kobo, etc) for a $100US. I’m from Canada but that’s my plan of action.

    From what I read in their website, they also have an editorial service that you can use if you want to have a secondary eye to look over your stuff.

    They even have a program where the more books you publish, the more discounts you have.

    But that’s just me. I’m a serial entrepreneur that does micro stuff the best and I always do audience testing in any products or service that I do. Investing too much money on something that the market may not like, isn’t my cup of tea. Especially since my projects are mostly self-funded. ^_^

    It wouldn’t hurt to just see the website for yourself so that you can weigh your options =D

    Good luck with your final decision!


  3. If you’re going to start writing your second book you’ll need time to concentrate. It makes sense therefore to try the traditional route for book one but I’d suggest setting yourself a timeline, say a maximum of six months and if it hasn’t been taken up by then go for self publishing.You’ll have much more control over a self published work, can keep prices down for buyers and get a much bigger share of the profits.
    Two things I’d say, if you want to go traditional you’ll have to find an agent and go through them. Few publishing houses accept works direct( except small indie houses). If you do submit direct and do so to more than one, please tell them who else you’ve submitted to. Publishers don’t like their books being seen by other publishers until they’ve made a decision. The very best of luck with it whatever you decide.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


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