With All the Publishing Options,
What's an Author to Do?
Guest post by Monique Domovitch
I’m one of the lucky ones, one of the authors with an agent and not only one, but two publishers, yet I’ve chosen to also self publish a few of my books. Whenever I tell other authors I get responses ranging from, ‘you’re so lucky,’ to, ‘why would you choose to get published when you can do it yourself?’
There is no question that there are distinct advantages to self publishing, such as; a much larger percentage of the money from the sale of those books, especially in the case of e-books; complete creative control; and last but not least, no dreaded manuscript-delivery deadlines. These three factors alone can be great incentives to chuck the traditional route and self publish.
However, there are also disadvantages to self publishing, the main one being that a large amount of an author’s time will be dedicated to doing other things than writing. For me, that was a big one. Maybe not all authors are like me, but I tend to be totally focussed on whatever my goal of the moment may be. For example, I have found that when I need to work on promotion, I find it difficult to do any writing. And there are just so many things to do when you self publish. Of course you do your editing. Authors always have to edit. But generally you also need another set of eyes, which means that you have to find your own editors, and pay them. Then there is the formatting of the manuscript. There is the picking of the cover, or even more time consuming, making it yourself. Not to mention checking the galleys and then distributing and promoting, and promoting, and promoting and promoting. That can be so time consuming that you feel like your life is made up only of twitter and facebook and blogs and advertising. All of this can entail months of work beyond the original writing of the novel. And then there is the cost$$$$$!
The funny thing is that I already had an agent when I decided to self-publish a few of my novels. The main reason being that these particular books were written in a different genre from what my agent was trying to sell. And at the time I seriously thought I would no longer write in this genre. (Since then those novels have been receiving such great reviews that I’m seriously questioning that decision. But that’s another story.)
All in all, it’s been a great experiment. I now have two manuscripts delivered— one to each of my two publishers—and two self-published books on Amazon. My self-published novels are enjoying great success, getting rave reviews and good sales. I said good sales—not great. I’ve spent so much on advertizing these books that I’m still in the red financially with them.
Meanwhile, I’ve got a nice advance—only in the four figures so no great shakes— from the first publisher. But hey, I’m already in the black with that one. And since delivering it, I’ve had only one short rewrite. I am no longer spending time working on anything else but my next books, or money on any other aspect of it.
As I see it, traditional publishers sell books—a lot of books—way more than I could ever hope to sell on my own, unless I turned out to be the next Amanda Hocking—wouldn’t that be nice?—and a small percent of a large number of sales will equal more than a large percentage of a small number of sales.
And then, there is also the issue of self confidence. Until I actually got a publisher to buy one of my books, somewhere in the back of my mind I always wondered whether I really had the talent, or if I was only deluding myself.
When I got that first contract, I knew, I just knew, that if a publisher was willing to pay good money for my novel, then I couldn’t be crazy. I really did have the talent. And that alone made going the traditional route well worth it.
About the author:
Monique Domovitch was born (as the first of 10 children) in Canada, where she led a number of
successful careers, from top model during the 70s, to financial adviser
with her own national television show. Now, in what she calls the best
part of her life, she launches into yet another career, this time as a
Connect with Monique at moniquedomovitch.com, Twitter, and Facebook.
This post is part of a weekly feature of guest posts about various topics related to writing and publishing. If you are interested in doing a guest post, please contact me.
Last week's post - 7 Signs that Indie Publishing is Right for You by Terri Giuliano Long.
While you are here, please also check out the previous posts included in this feature.