My question for you today is – should you pass up the chance to publish your book traditionally and just go the self-publishing route?
In all honestly, there is no way that anyone can answer this question for you. You have to decide all by yourself and it can be a daunting decision that will make you wonder how it can be accomplished.
At this point in time, there are many ways to self-publish your novel – as well as traditionally publish your novel outside of the “Big Six” – so I am here to tell you a personal story and what I think I’m going to and why. I also hope that this will help you – which is the main reason I am writing this.
So, I’ve finally started writing the last parts of my NaNo novel! I received a lot of great feedback on it and I am really excited to finish it and publish the story! It is the first book of an intended three and I’m at 42,000 words. I had to redo some of it after NaNo and A LOT of the story ended up being deleted. Now that I’m almost done writing it – the plan is 50,000 – I am thinking in advance of publishing options!
First, I love the idea of self-publishing – especially with Novelnook! Even if I publish with them, I can still publish it elsewhere, which is fantastic! The question is with such a great feature as 100% royalties, why wouldn’t I just self-publish without debate?
Let’s just say that since you were a child, your dream was to write something fantastic and get published. I’m sure we all have that dream, right? It’s a great dream and self-publishing has made some people who had gotten denied bestsellers anyway! We live in an amazing world where we can make or buy our own book covers, pay people to edit and proofread our stories and just put it on the internet for others to buy.
Self-publishing can be difficult though, too. You are pretty much 100% responsible for making sure your book is ready to go (editing, proofreading, your own cover, etc.) promoting your book and getting people to buy it. With some other services, you still don’t get ALL the money for your book, but you certainly get more than if you traditionally publish. You have to build your own platform, find readers who are interested in the type of stories you write and then sell your story. I’ve met some great people who have done extremely well and it is absolutely possible to do it all on your own.
As for me…I write romances. At this time, I’m in the process of writing a series of three contemporary, one historical and one fantasy with intentions to make those a series of five each. My favorite to read is historical but I find contemporary easier to write. Historical involves more research and while I can easily do that, the stories will take longer to write for me since I am a perfectionist! I want to write them all and each have their own way of coming about in my mind, which is why I have so many started at once.
My dream has always been to be published by Avon Romance. They house some of my favorite writers and to be published by them would be amazing! Plus, they publish almost any romance category you can think of which is an advantage to someone like me who wants to write in more than one sub-genre.
With traditional publishing, you don’t get 100% royalties. With Avon specifically, their e-book print starts off with 25% royalties up to 10,000 copies sold; after that, it rises to 50%. They also have print-on-demand available and these rates are discussed when you decide to write for them so I cannot include them here, as I have no idea what they are.
The reason for the royalty rates being low is this – they do have to pay people to edit, proofread, make a cover, market, etc. your book. With print books, they also have to print them off which costs more money than an eBook. For the majority of us, we’ve all had jobs. Think about it – we like to get paid decent wages from them, correct? I get it and I can totally understand the need for not paying you every single dime they get from selling your book.
On the other hand, I am not an all-in-one book writing machine. Sure, I consider myself to have above average editing and proofreading skills. However, even I miss things in my writing that makes me wanna slap myself when I realize what I’ve done and go “how the heck did I miss that?!” I’ve seen advertisements for proofreading or editing services that want 2 or 3 cents a word. For a 50,000 novel – which is the lowest word count for a romance to be considered a novel – do the math! I don’t have that kind of money lying around and I bet most other people don’t either.
The great news is – a writer can do both. You can choose one or the other and you’re not wrong for it. It’s up to you, what you can afford to do on your own. Really, it’s what you want to do on your own versus that which you’d rather someone else do. If you can do it all on your own, self-publishing straight away may be your route. If you have a dream, perhaps you chance traditional publishing.
And, If your dreams don’t work out, you can always self-publish anyway!
So which way should I go? That will be Part 2 which I will post Saturday. At that time, I will tell you what I’ve chosen and why. I’ll also list the pro’s and con’s of both of my choices.
Until then, tell me in the comments below what you’ve done or what you think you might do! Have a great rest of the week! :)