3 Reasons to Traditional Publish and 5 Reasons to Self-Publish your Book

There is nothing wrong with wanting to traditionally publish your book, just as there is nothing wrong with wanting to self-publish your novel. The US versus THEM mentality is amusing for only so long.

Traditional and Self-Publishing are just two roads to the same goals. Depending on what your goals are, one might be better than the other for you. Although I’ve noticed a trend were best-selling authors have turned to self-publishing their back-list or new books. Some authors even straddle the fence and do both.

Sometimes one option is better than the other for the author or the books.

Reasons to Publish Traditional

#1: because that’s the way the market currently works. Publishers have built-in credibility that self-published books have a hard time earning.

#2: the “big name, big-budget” publishers offer advances, promotional material, and gather reviews from major publications. (True, but how many authors actually earn that advance. How many have to pay it back? Then there is the marketing and promotion of the book that, unless you are a big selling name, you have to pay for, usually with that advance. So either route you’re paying for it.)

#3: Publishing houses can get the books into stores where customers may buy them and self-published books may not be accepted.

Reasons to Self-Publish

#1: Your project doesn’t fit the mold or format of traditional publishers. (Richard Paul Evans’ The Christmas Box, too short to be a novel and too long to be a short story.)

#2: Don’t have time to wait for acceptance. Or the information in the book is time sensitive. (Lu Ann Brobst Staheli’s When Hearts Conjoin, the author and mom of the conjoined twins wanted it done before the surgery to separate the twins, the documentary, and their appearance on Oprah.)

#3: Closed or limited publication opportunities.

#4: There is a targeted niche for your book and it won’t fit with traditional publishers.

#5: to break into traditional publishing (I’m adding this one, because the entire article implies this a few times.)

I had more to say, but rather I’m just going to link to this post because Kristine Kathryn Rusch says this so much better than I tried to. It starts out as a bit of a rant and moves into the Pros and Cons of Traditional and self-publishing in regards to business.

Do you agree or disagree? What are your reasons for Self-Publishing?

My reasons? I want control over the content of my book. I want to have a say in the rewrites. I don’t want the added stress involved in the traditional publishing route, the need to produce on a deadline rather than at my own pace. After all, I’m a full-time writer, mother of two rambunctious girls, and a rancher.

I’m Not Going Away Just Because You Attack Me

I woke from terrible dreams of readers chasing me with pitchforks and torches, in the worst kind of censorship as they burned books they believed unworthy, and banned freedom to share writing with the masses. This included digital books, fanfic, and cell phone novels. I just wanted to curl deeper into my covers and sleep away the terrible dreams. I really didn’t want to get out of bed this morning, but I did.

My wonderful husband was still home, getting ready for work, and I wanted to tell him what happened last night. Except he would never understand the roll of emotions inside me. He would never understand how the opinion of readers that weren’t even mine could leave me feeling sad, angry, and hurt. Hell, I don’t even understand it.

They weren’t attacking me personally. They were attacking self-publishing as a whole. And the dumb part is one woman claimed to never read self-published authors but only the classics. Is she even aware at how many of those classics are self-published? And how many were picked up by publishers after the author was dead and buried? Probably not.

It more then that though. They were attacking the hard work of authors that just want their story heard. They were attacking the sterotypes that have been placed on authors that have decided to go it alone. They were attacking our freedom of speech, wanting to censor who has the right to publish a book. As if it was their God given right.

It wasn’t personal, but it was personal. Yeah, I know I’m contradicting myself. It wasn’t my work on display being ridiculed, but it could have been.

Is my work above being laughed at? Not in a million years. I’ve found mistake in it. I correct it as I find it. Is it my best work? To date, yes. Will I continue to improve? Of course. Will I let others get me down? Never.

I’ll continue upon the course I set for myself and my writing back in January 2010 when I decided to forgo publishing with a publishing house for self-publishing, or indie publishing. It is a plan that fits who I am and my lifestyle. Publishing through a publishing house wouldn’t work for me. I prefer to be my own boss. I prefer to be in control. I prefer to have the freedom only self-publishing can give me.

So it’s time to get out the armor, strap on the kantana, the guns, the knives, maybe a gernade or two and face the world well armed. I’m tired of being meek and mild. I’m tired of hiding. It’s time to defend myself and fight back.

Rant: A Brief History of Self-Publishing/Traditional Publishing

Rant: A Brief History of Self-Publishing/Traditional Publishing
I’m not much for rants. Writing them, not reading them, I enjoy Ruth’s rants. LOL. If you ever visit my blog you see that for yourself. But this is one of those times when I just have to say something.
I’ve been out of town for the last week and was going through the 90 emails still waiting for me in my I accumulated inbox (if you want to know why go to http://stephanniebeman.com), and I read a few of the posts Ruth made on the writing forums as well as the comments made on the forum. This idea that true or traditional publishing isn’t self-publishing is a load of bullshit. I’m so tired of hearing the same thing over and over again about self-publishing not being traditional publishing. Does no one know the history of publishing?

Publishing started out as the author of a work writing out their stories, formulas, scientific work, etc and sharing it with others, who copied the work. As early as the 3rd century AD there are books documenting everything from medicine to religion to perfumes to alchemy to food prep to history. Publishing houses didn’t even exist until the Romans started what would later be a model for publishing houses. They used slave labor to copy the dictation of stories for the libraries of the wealthy. Sound familiar?

Since the beginning, publications (newspapers, pamphlets, books, etc.) have been self-published because they were written, printed, and sold by the owner of the printer. Only in the last century has the roles of author and publisher truly been separate entities and self-publication became unusual and undesirable.

And history is repeating itself. For centuries people fought the censorship and oppression of the written word and ideas by printing their own books and pamphlets for the masses to read. Books that are considered classics now, were at one time self-published and even rejected by publishers unwilling to take the chance on those that were unknown, wrote about obscure or controversial topics, or because of their writing, their style, or their genre.

When did our society became so anal that freedom to express ourselves has to be deemed worthy by publishers out to make a buck? When did they become so prudish that innovation is squelched through threats and degrading remarks? When did storytellers and bards stop being welcome to table for a nights entertainment? Where would our world be if authors hadn’t decided to undermine the business model of publishers by continuing a long tradition of printing their own books? Where would we be if we bowed to those claiming to be credentialed authorities on any given subject matter and waited for their permission to contribute to public debate and literature?

Where would we be if authors such as William Blake, Virginia Woolf, William Morris, Walt Whitman, James Joyce, James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy), Stephen Crane, E.E. Cummings, Oscar Wilde, Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence), Edward Tufte, Elynn Harris, Matthew Reilly, Howard Fast (Spartacus), D.H. Lawrence, Thomas Paine, Christopher Paolini (Eragon), Edgar Allen Poe, George Bernard Shaw, Upton Sinclair, G.P. Taylor (Shadowmancer), Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, Deepak Chopra, Benjamin Franklin, Richard Paul Evans (The Christmas Box), Zane Grey, Rudyard Kipling, Ezra Pound, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson (Chicken Soup for the Soul), Carl Sandburg, Gertrude Stein, John Grisham (A Time to Kill), and Stephen King decided not to self-publish? We would be without some of the most influential authors and their stories?

Rant done…for now. Wow, that was strangely liberating. I might just have to try this more often. LOL. Feel free to comment, I’d love to hear you opinion on the subject.

My Reasons to Self-Publish

I was talking to a friend the other day about traditional publishing and self-publishing. She is a self-publisher, I’m heavily leaning toward self-publishing. Why?

~I’m already busy with housework, two children, ranch work, editing, and writing without adding the stress of an employer, deadlines, and rewrites.

~I like the freedom to create and move my business at my own pace. I would rather start slow while the kids are at home and work toward growing my writing career at a rate I’m comfortable with. I don’t want to have the worry that I didn’t make enough sales and ruined my chance of another contract.

~I may want a reader base, but I don’t have to have a large one to feel fulfilled. Like the story tellers of old, I love sharing my stories with others, I always have. That is what drives me to write, not fame or money.

~I want my stories to be mine from start to finish. I don’t want someone telling me what I have to change or rewrite. I don’t mind suggestions about what I could do to make it better. And who is to say the editor is right and not the writer. However, there are times when an editor is needed to read a book and point out the mistakes. 🙂

How about you? Do you like the idea of Self-Publishing? Or Traditional Publishing?

Create your own Publishing House to sell Your Book

Sometimes life takes a strange turn, not for the worst and not for the best, but for the different. My entire life has been all about writing. And the one thing I’ve realized, that while that dream will never change, the way I’m going about it has.

I have never send my writing into a publisher and so I have never had the moment when I’ve held that envelope in my hand and wondered if it’s a acceptance or a rejection. And while I may have doubted my writing over the years, I have never given up on it.

The more I read about the publishing industry, the less I want to pursue this course. The cons far outweigh the pros. The typical traditional published author receives a small portion of their book sales, but they have the backing of the publisher and sale more books. While the Self-published author pays out for their book printing and markets the book themselves, they may get the less sells but they keep more of the profit. For awhile I wanted to use a Self-publishing firm to publish my books, but the more I learned about the companies, the less appeal it had. Yes, they are a rapid way to publish work, but even they have their down side. So what is a writer to do?

I found an article that provided a more efficient and economically rewarding route, a true form of self-publishing rather than the facade that the traditional publishers and self-publishing firms have given us. Depending on your goals as a writer and your business experience this route can lead to greater freedoms, rewards, and it is surprisingly easy.

If the plan is to publish more than two books, then definitely look into the route of creating a publishing house for yourself. Over and over again I’ve read that the savings over time are tremendous and you can work directly with a POD service that deals with publisher instead of authors like Mill City Press and Lightning Source (Lightning Source seems to be the most talked about and reputable). These POD services do not provide design, file work, editorial, promotional or marketing services. These are solely the responsibility of the publisher.

Like we all haven’t heard that one before.