Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Traditional vs self publishing

Let me make my disclosures before I reveal my judgment call... 
I have six mass market novels available from Simon and Schuster's imprint Pocket Books.

I have a prequel short available in a trade paperback anthology, as well as from my website via e-version...or I used to. The title of the short MARLBOROS & MAGIC apparently, after a year of availability, triggered something in Amazon's system that said I can't use Marlboro in the title because it is trademarked.


 So I have to rename it, reload it, and somehow manage to help folks understand it is not something NEW.

I really don't want to piss folks off because they were 'suckered' into buying something they already have...

Shhhh...I also have an unrelated novel coming out from a small press next year (announcements coming later).
And there's that 7th installment into Persephone's world...

Every week I get emails from someone new asking about the rest of the series. Sadly, there is no interest from the original publisher. So I will be forced to finish it without them.

I have inquired with the fans if they want ebook or print. So far, it's about 50/50. So however I choose to 'deliver' the novel, it must have book options.

I may offer it to the small press; I may make it self-published. I am still totally on the fence about it and uncertain which is the best option for me. To acknowledge the pros and cons of both possibilities that my blog-family have been talking about this week, I like the idea of the amount of control self publishing provides, yet I'm not sure I want the total commitment of time. Relinquishing some control gives me more time to, yanno, write. Social butterfly that I am not, letting others handle promotional stuff is an attractive feature.

Traditional publishing:

-is so SLOW
-typically need agent to even be considered by editor
-likelihood of being the editor's selection for his/her available slot in publication has odds similar to those of winning the lottery
-print and ebook, distribution
-there will be some sales
-expectation of quality should be sound
-they (should) do majority of marketing, author does some, they may pay for some marketing such as banner ads or blog tours at the author's request
-they do editorial, copyediting, typesetting
-they do cover (little to no control by author)
-they format all ebook types
-price is set by them

Small press publishing:

-faster, but still takes time
-agent good but not necessary
-likelihood of being the editor's selection for his/her available slot in publication has slightly better odds than those for winning the lottery-there will be some sales-expectation of quality can vary by press (do your research)
-ebook and print on demand, possibly print and distribution
-they do some marketing, author does some; books included in regular marketing that small press does and is present wherever they have tables, etc.
-they do editorial, copyediting, typsetting
-cover may be negotiable, may be their choice
-they format all ebook types
-price is set by them

Self publishing:

-no agent necessary
-you will be published when you hit the publish button-there may be single digit sales (0 is also a single digit...reality)
-quality (often in the eye of the beholder) is entirely your responsibility (and your reputation is on the line)
-ebook and print on demand, 'distribution' unlikely
-author does ALL marketing, pays for promotion and ads, sets up and pays for blog tours and signings, sets up and pays for tables at conventions, etc.
-author pays for editing, copyediting, typsetting
-author pays for cover
-author pays someone to format all ebook types
-author decides price

And this is just off the top of my it is a lot to think about.