Friday, May 1, 2020
All the Options
Talking about publishing paths is a lot like Max standing outside my boat looking in. As Sinéad O'Connor liked to title an album, I do not want what I haven't got. Most of us come at publishing starry-eyed and with strong opinions about how we want to go. When I started, publishing really only had one option - traditional publishing. Self-publishing was still in its infancy and had the taint of desperation clinging to it. Dawn was beginning to break and there were a few outliers playing around with what might be possible. Shortly after I was first traditionally published, the ground totally shifted under self-publishing, fortunately.
These days, the options are legion.
I dunno. Triad?
Your choices are limited only by your wishes. Some of us NEED the validation that traditional publishing represents. Some of us hate playing by traditional publishing's timelines (which are glacial, especially if you're a high out-put author). They're also hard to break into. Generally you need an agent because the slush piles are towering door props. No lie, it took one editor three years to reject a book I'd sold someplace else.
Self-publishing lets you put books out at your pace and you need never suffer a suck-tastic cover again. Self-publishing is limited only by your budget. You get what you pay for in regard to cover work and editing. As mentioned last week, I'm currently priced out of this option.
A small press - or in my case- an e-first press with POD as an option, has trade offs just like the other options. Small presses can be risky. We've all seen presses go under. It's always sad when that happens. BUT. They're far more open minded about working with new authors and with authors who are in the position of having to start over. In my case, they were willing to republish books that had already been published once before just so they could complete the series. That's pretty flexible.
Some authors are writing specific content for audio books. I don't know much about it and I'm starting to hear that the shine is off that apple, but it is still an option. I don't do audio because there's not much call for it in my genre. Not a single one of my readers has asked for it .
Hybrid/mix of all the things - well, I suppose that's the most flexible of all, but it is a lot of balls to juggle. It means that you're published either traditionally or via a small press and you self-publish. You are still on the financial line for the books you self-pub, but if you're writing books that don't fit your traditionally published brand, self-publishing those can be a reasonable option. You'd control branding and messaging around the books that way.
The only thing I notice is that I feel a lot like poor Max. The publishing cash looks greener over there.