I have three friends who have pursued self-publishing.
Alys Arden with her gripping Young Adult, Paranormal, The Casquette Girls. Len Webster with her beautiful love story, Thirty-Eight Days. And Angela Stevens with her part thriller, contemporary Romance, Lemon Drops and Love.
I have watched from afar as they have slaved over editing, marketing, design, proofing, etcetera, etcetera, and I have wondered why they chose this path.
So I asked them.
It seems that time was a big factor in which road to take. If you self-publish you can get it done within months of completing your book. Compare that to traditional publishing where it’s common to wait more than six months for an answer to your query and you can see why people choose to go it alone.
I suppose the next thing to look at is money. As a self-published author your returns are a much higher percentage when compared to the offerings of publishing houses but let’s not forget that you will have to pay upfront for editing costs etc.
Interestingly, another answer I hadn’t considered, was fear. One author was afraid of the rejection that comes with the traditional route. She didn’t want the constant set backs that come with each round of “no’s” so she chose to skip that part.
This same author also told me that a successful indie friend of hers encouraged her to go it alone as she believed that unless you were picked up by one of the big five it was a waste of time perusing traditional publishing.
So why then, do people still push for traditional publishing? Maybe because going it alone, from what I’ve seen, is damn hard work. Of course the traditional route is no walk in the park but at least you have people to fall back on. Self-publishing, whilst opening up the door to many great authors who may not have otherwise had the chance to publish, is not easy. You have to become everything from an editor to a marketer whilst still remaining the author.
So, which way to publishing success? Well, that all depends on the author but whichever way you choose, be prepared for an awful lot of hard work.