Thursday, April 30, 2020

Red or Blue Pill

Recently we blogged about writer finances and I defined the various routes of publication here. But this week we’re talking about how we made the choice between them. 

Note that I said we and not you. Because choosing your publishing path is a bit like Neo having to pick between the red pill or the blue pill and I’m not going to say which color coincides with which. 

Traditional or Self Publishing; red or blue, blue or red… but red and blue makes violet: Hybrid Publishing. 

Before reaching for your water glass to swallow that pill, I suggest making a pro and con list. 

This could’ve been heavily influenced by my recent Gilmore Girls binge and love of all things Rory, but we’ll roll with it because it actually makes sense in this situation. 

For me, Trad Publishing Pros:
a fabulous agent to bounce ideas off
an Editor that comes with the package deal
a Marketing team

Trad Pub Cons:

Self Publishing Pros:
ultimate cosmic powers! 

Self Publishing Cons:
itty bitty living space

See, YMMV. And I guarantee your pro con lists would look very different from mine as well as your definitions. But that’s great because nobody’s publishing path is the same! Even those on the same track, self-pub, indie, trad, or hybrid, no track will match up exactly. 

Even here, where I attempted to show two different book paths, they ended up domino-ing differently. I even enlisted the assistance of my twins to make sure the paths started the same! 

But you can’t control another’s finger nudge any more than you can control world events that slide colored lenses over people’s eyes. And there’s personal stressors for each reader that influence their reading enjoyment and there’s sudden waves of hot tropes or plots that are unpredictable and short lived. Basically, there’s a million things that influence how a book is received in the world and all of them are out of your hands. 

Maybe that’s why the author’s decision of which publishing path to take is such a weighty one? It’s the first important step that we actually control, the one step that every author actually controls. And by making a choice we determine our book’s trajectory, and also our career’s. 

Whew! Scary stuff huh? Well, it is just a tiny, little pill after all, right?

I’ve chosen the traditional publishing route. Red or blue, I’ll never telllll! Originally this track was most appealing because I had a thriving career in the medial field along with being a wife and mother, which left very little time for authoring. Life changed, but my writing trajectory didn’t, even though my pro con list altered slightly. 

I’m still on the trad route because my health is limiting and I know the added stress of being in control of every little piece of bringing a book into the world would be too much. I still value my health over any career. Who knows, someday it could change. I still see the Hybrid author track as the most profitable, you can have the best of both worlds and ensure the most stable income possible (which still isn’t stable, but closer anyway). 

What track have you chosen? Which colored pill is the most appetizing to you?

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