How To Choose Between Traditional and Self-Publishing

What kind of writer am I?

The point of a writer asking themselves that question is really to help initiate the goal process. As we all know, goal-setting is important in writing. Nothing ever gets written if I don’t force myself to make the time to sit down and write.

When it came to writing all of my books, I had to consider which direction I wanted to take my creative work and force myself to make the leap.

What’s your end-game?

When trying to decide what kind of writer you want to be (whether casual or professional), it’s important to know what you may be getting yourself into. On that note, below is a graphic that my SNHU professor Thomas Deady at SNHU, handed out. It gives a very clear representation of the roles and responsibilities in the world of traditional publishing.

When an author’s creative work is picked-up by a traditional publishing house, they work directly with an Editor to polish that manuscript. Then it’s handed off to a production editor who takes care of copyediting, indexing, and all that tiny but important stuff. The manuscript then goes into the design department to determine the best font and lay-out for your genre. Then, it’s printed and distributed to retailers and reviewers. Finally, hopefully, it’s picked-up by readers.

What about self-publishing?

If you, a writer, decide to go the non-traditional route, it’s important to keep in mind that all of the work listed above falls you, the author. You have to edit, detail, copyedit, index, layout, choose the right font and title for your genre, find bloggers and reviewers (good, honest reviews. Amazon deletes reviews that appear to be paid for) to talk about and promote your book.

Promotion is a beast

Consider that you, dear writer, have to promote the book no matter which publishing route you choose.

Promotion can be time consuming and more expensive than writing the book itself. Of course, there are thousands of book promo companies that you can hire to help you. But often, they’re expensive because they have established relationships with readers and reviewers, just like a major publisher does.

As an independent author, you have to forge your own relationships.

To be fair, the forging can be really fun. Networking with other Indie authors and picking their brains, while plundering the internet for any advice that works does have it’s advantages. You can make new friends while broadening your potential audience and growing your social media platform means increasing your influence.

After considering all of the different types of work that go into reaching potential readers, what’s your end-game?

I'd love to know your thoughts on this . . .

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