If you’re here, I’m assuming you have written a kick ass story that hits all reader expectations and are wondering, now what? If that sounds like you, read on. If you’re not done with your story yet, you can also read on, but remember, the real first step is finishing and revising the manuscript.
So, what is Step one? Deciding how you want to publish. Indie or Trade. People have very strong feelings about this, but I urge you to think of it as a business decision. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it is.
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In today’s world, publishing is both easier than ever before and more difficult. The barriers to entry have all but fallen with the invention of eReaders and digital books. Still, authors have to market their own work. They have to make sure their book is the best. Gone are the days you can publish any book with a clip art cover and a weak plot and make money.
Don’t be discouraged though, there are so many ways to publish, you’re sure to find one that suits you and your book. The following is a step-by-step guide designed to help you make the most educated decisions possible.
That being said, there will always be those who believe one way is the right way and all others are wrong. They won’t respond to queries and may even tell you-you aren’t a real author. But here’s the thing—and it’s possibly the most important thing I’ll say in this entire blog series—this is a business decision. YOUR business decision. So treat it that way. Weigh the options and think it through. You should not be making decisions based on emotions, but on facts.
I’m an indie author but I also the co-founded an indie press before I founded Raven’s Quill Publishing LLC, so I have experience as an author and as a publisher of other people’s work. I’m also a book marketer and editor. What can I say? I love all that goes into making a book and bringing it into the world.
How you publish is a business decision. Figure out what is important to you and find the best deal. Your book has worth.
Traditional: One of the biggest mistakes an author can make is to publish traditionally because they believe that is the only way to be a ‘real’ author. If you want to be traditionally published, there’s nothing wrong with that. BUT make the decision from a business perspective and make sure that you’re getting what your book is worth. Don’t sign a contract just because you’re happy to have been offered one. Read it, maybe get a lawyer to help you with the details, though your agent should be able to you here, but I’m wary of trusting anyone this early on. New authors are easy prey.
Traditional publishing is tough. You hear about Gatekeepers and how only a few are chosen-a good agent will get 1000-1500 queries per month and only take on about 6 new clients per year(literary-agents.com). But if you wrote a vampire book and they aren’t hot anymore then no one will ever pick it up. This is all true. But let’s be clear. Publishing is hard. No matter what. There is no easy way. There are steps you can take to make it easier. That’s why I’m writing this blog series.
Pros of trade publishing:
If you’re thinking of or have always planned to go the indie route, you need to know it’s not easier. Hitting publish is incredibly easy, but getting people to buy your book is not, which you will have to do regardless of how you choose to publish.
I’ve spent years learning to market, internet marketing, and what works for books. You have to be dedicated; you have to sign up for email lists, and monitor the top earners in your genre/niche, and you need to have an experimental mindset in order to be successful.
Cons of Indie Publishing
So how do you choose?
Whether to publish traditionally or indie is an incredibly personal decision. No one else can make this decision for you, so don’t let them. Take time to yourself, listen to the experiences of others, and do your own research. Also, keep in mind this is a business decision. You’re a businessperson under that author hat, and this choice can affect you for the rest of your life.
Things to keep in mind:
Have you decided which way you'll go? Let me know in the comments.