When you sat down to write your first manuscript you made the choice to do that. You decided that it was time to put your thoughts on paper and it was the right choice for you at that moment. But what then? Would you decide to publish it? How would you do that? Would you go traditional or self publish? Decisions, Decisions!
It’s a critical choice in any writer’s mind. I talked to a writer not too long ago that has written several complete manuscripts but she was confused as to what road to take. She actually contacted me with the hopes of getting a little more insight into how I chose the path I did. As I told her it’s really as simple as making a list and figuring out what’s best for you.
For me, I had other options than self publishing, but it was a good fit for me, maybe not for others. After I had self published a couple of books I received “THE CALL” that all authors love to receive. It was a rather large publishing house that I’d heard of and actually had several books in my library published through them. The gentleman was nice and had knowledge of my books and style of writing. He’d actually read one of them and was interested in putting it under their label. Of course my heart did a quick pitter patter, but then I started asking questions. I’m a very analytical person, so I had questions. What are you planning to do for my book that I don’t already do? What’s the royalty percentage? Will I lose my rights? Turns out I was better off where I was at. The royalties were 1/2 of what I was already making and yes I had to sign my rights to my work over to them and then the promotional package they offered for a nice little sum was exactly what I was already doing on my own for free. I kindly thanked him and said I’d keep his number. He hounded me for a couple of months with different ‘offers’, but I stayed true to my decision.
Here’s a couple of things that you need to decide on before you make the choice:
1: Do you have the discipline to do the marketing and social media presence that’s needed to keep your name available?
2: What about the business end of publishing? Can you handle all the ins and outs of the publishing business? Self Publishing is a business and it can take some time to put things together.
3: What type of royalties are you looking at? If higher royalties are needed, then self publishing my be the route to go, but be aware of the needs of self publishing.
4: You’re in charge of getting a cover made, either you design it or you hire someone to do it. Remember this is the first thing someone will see and first impressions are valuable.
5: Editing is still a must even with self publishing. I know that we all think our work is great, but it needs to be edited by someone other than your best friend. Editing is important.
Of course I could go on and on, but this is a couple of things I told the author. She sat for a moment thinking and then she told me that this had helped her start the decision process.
Either way you go, it’s your choice. If you send your manuscript to a traditional publisher, be patient. If they like what they see it’ll happen. Take their advice and use it. If you choose self publishing, please take it seriously. You are in the hot seat if you choose this route. Either way you go, it’s your choice. You’re in charge of this decision.
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…