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Ideally, which publishing route would you want to go?

  1. Independent

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  2. Big Publishing Companies

    8 vote(s)
    88.9%
  1. Motamat
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    Motamat New Member

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    Independent Authors and Publishing

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by Motamat, Jun 11, 2015.

    Being an aspiring author, I have faced many of the challenges that come along with writing and trying to get a book published. I am young and am just starting to dip my feet into the authors world of publishing and this has brought up some questions and concerns about being an independent author and publishing options. I would love to hear from fellow writers and independent authors and see views other share on these. Below, I have included some questions and concerns that I've developed and I am really interested as to others opinions and thoughts on these.

    Independent Authors:
    Many other writers I have talked to and know are commonly torn between wanting to get their book published by a big publishing house but have some hesitations. With the many options provided in todays technological world, there are many self publishing options. With all of the different stories I have heard, I have come up with the general theory that there are many authors who aspire to have a successful novel or book but don't necessarily want to go through a big publishing company (ie. HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, etc.) because they want to keep most of their rights to the book and independence associated with their book which makes independent publishing seem idea. On the other hand, I have concluded that there is not enough support with independent publishing when it comes to things such as editing and marketing, making it difficult for the book to become successful or popular or to profit from it.
    Personally, I write because its my passion and I don't expect to write a NY Times Bestseller and make millions of dollars but I would like to see some success in something I put my heart and sole into and have it out there for others to enjoy.
    So fellow writers, what do you think about this theory that I have drawn up? How do you feel about independent publishing and working through large publishers? What are your concerns and opinions about independent publishing? Is the independent route more appealing/Would you be more willing to go to the independent route if it provided more support and marketing options?
    Please feel free to express your views on this. I enjoy hearing what you all have to say.
     
  2. L. L.
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    L. L. New Member

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    I think I'm leaning towards your viewpoint of the whole Self-publishing vs. Traditional Publishing argument. I do this because it is a passion, not because I want recognition for my works. However, I also want to hear that others enjoyed something I've put a lot of energy and time into. For now, I'm absolutely dedicated to Self-publishing. I've heard many authors talk about how big Publishing Companies have forced them to cut out key parts of their stories because they wanted it to sell. To me, that sounds like someone is trying to cut a leg off of your baby. Though, if it is cancerous I suppose it is necessary. However, I don't want to go through the frustration of rejection letters and fights to publish something I can do myself. If after I self-publish my book I am approached by a large publisher because they are interested in my novel, I might consider going that route because they obviously see something they like.
    Larger publishers are amazing at marketing, way better than I could hope to be. I haven't even finished my novel, and I already know marketing it will be the biggest challenge ever. It's a tough choice, but I'm willing to go through it for my passion.
     
  3. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Big. Big advances (possibly). Big deals. Good editors. Good cover art. Far reach. Swanky offices. Good coffee. All the logistical shit taken care of.
     
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  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's not much of a question, would you go with a major publisher if they offered you a contract? Who wouldn't except an established author maybe. John Grisham was just on BookTV this weekend and he mentioned that his agent and the publisher did all the work on the contract and even though Grisham is a lawyer, he was glad to just sign when the contract was presented to him.
     
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  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's an individual choice - sounds like you've made yours! Hope it works for you.

    Quick note, though - there is some confusion in terminology in your post. Independent Author instead of Self-Publisher is fine, if that's the term you're more comfortable with, but there's already a long tradition of using the term Independent Publisher to refer to, well, independent publishers - companies that aren't part of the Big Five system. So 'independent publishing" would refer to working with one of those companies, some of which are pretty incredible companies and are an important option to consider in your search for a method of publication. If you start using the term instead of self-publishing, it leads to confusion.
     
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  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Very few self-published works have been fantastically well received. Traditional publishing all the way!
     
  7. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I doubt I would ever go the self-publishing route. I don't have the time, patience, knowledge, or interest in handling the publishing side of things.

    Just a note: I've seen so many authors going to self-publishing based on false assumptions about trade publishing. Just as an example, not to pick on anyone specifically because I've seen this a lot all over, the idea that trade publishers force authors to make drastic changes. Uh, no. Not unless one signed a lousy contract or went with a less than reputable publisher (ie, didn't do one's homework). So if you do choose that route, make sure you're doing so based on facts, not rumor or rhetoric. :)
     
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  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Very solid advice, I think. There are a lot of self-publishing companies that can really screw you over, and at least with traditional publishing an agent is involved somewhere during the process, some of the time - when it's not academic publishing at least.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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  10. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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  11. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You answered your own point, @Lemex, "before the 1990s". The digital revolution that is changing the publishing world is more recent than that.

    The end point has yet to settle out. Traditional publishers are not going to sit idly by. Who knows where Amazon's business model is going. And not only authors, but indie publishers are able to move into a market previously very expensive to enter.
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    As I said, @GingerCoffee, I'm being a bit snobby there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
  14. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Might want to double-check this one. It states, for example, that 50 Shades was self-published - EL James' own website says none of the trilogy were ever self-published.

    http://www.eljamesauthor.com/faq/

    Inaccuracies aside, it did seem to simply be saying self-publishing is an option if you don't like getting rejection slips, but pointing out a few who 'made good' (minus those who actually didn't), doesn't mean it's a trend. At this point, it's still rare enough to generate news.
     
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  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Truth be told, 50 shades was a fan-fiction success before being picked up by a publisher.

    It's not that X's or Y's success proves there's a trend. The point is the digital revolution is upon us. One cannot go by what went before. One has to look at what's coming.
     
  16. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh yeah, it was definitely a reworked fanfic. Just not self-published.

    Agreed. But that has nothing to do with self versus trade publishing, other than it's (perhaps unfortunately) easier for people to self-publish now. Both trade and self-publishing utilize the ebook format and have for some time.
     
  17. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    The number one issue is that this is not the actual choice writers face. So you write your book, get it to the absolute best it can be and then you look at your options as a writer. There are two. You can TRY to get an agent and go the trad route. Or you CAN self publish.

    That's the choice you face.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  18. GingerCoffee
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    Which is why I said, "Traditional publishers are not going to sit idly by," and, "Who knows where Amazon's business model is going."

    But that is only half of the equation. Yes, traditional publishers are not going to ignore the digital platform. They are not stupid. But what digital changes in the market is up-front costs. In the past one needed to pay for print books, in a minimum quantity, warehousing the books, and distributing the books. In addition, one needed some contract with the booksellers. Those elements limited independent writers and small publishers entering the market.

    Now one can enter the market for practically no up-front costs. With print-on-demand that includes print as well as digital formats. And the bookstore can be bypassed while an indie still has access to a world market.

    Publishing is in flux.
     
  19. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Publishing has always been in flux.

    As to no up-front costs, that's only true if one doesn't hire a competent editor, a savvy artist who knows about commercial book covers, and doesn't care if their book isn't on the shelves (where a great many readers still find their books, even if they buy online or ebooks). Unfortunately, a majority of self-publishers don't do the first two, and books that would otherwise do well, fall short.

    Publishing is a business, regardless of which path one takes. Failure to treat it as such is the bane of readers and a disaster for authors.
     
  20. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd actually say it's significantly more complicated than this - it's one of the reasons I don't like the term "traditional publishing" - it makes it sound like all publishers are in the same category. And "self-publishing" may be almost as overly simplistic.

    I'd say at least some of the choices include:

    1 -Try to get an agent and go Big Five or large indie;
    2 -Try to publish with a smaller reputable publisher;
    3 -Try to publish with a smaller, disreputable publisher (not a good choice, but a choice a lot of people make);
    4 -Publish with a vanity press (another bad choice, but what can you do?);
    5 -Self-publish with assistance;
    6 -Self-publish with hired editors, cover designers, promotions people, or whatever variations there-of;
    7- Self-publish completely do-it-yourself.

    There are probably more options I'm not thinking of.

    I've done 1, 2, and 6. I haven't seen sales yet for 1, so I can't tell whether I like it better than 2, but I definitely like 1 and 2 better than 6. Although I'll still do 6 for certain projects.
     
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  21. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The point remains, people can enter the market that previously were prevented from doing so due to the cost. The initial claim was indie authors aren't likely to do well. But if you go by the numbers, that's true for traditionally published authors as well. My point was just that if one is making these blanket proclamations, one should consider things continue to be changing rapidly since the digital revolution.

    The rest of what you are saying is a different discussion, which is the best way to go?
     
  22. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    No writer is "likely to do well". Very few writers can live off their earnings - pointing out the exceptions doesn't change that. Yes, it's easier to enter the market - but it's not easier to be successful monetarily. Ease of entry does not equal success. People considering self-publishing need to go into it with eyes wide open - not filled with stars.
     
  23. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Not sure why you think I said anything different than that.

    This exchange started with:
    As you say,
    And I agreed:
    I don't understand why so many people in this forum are still into berating self-publishing rather than simply addressing the pros and cons of EACH.
     
  24. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not berating self-publishing. I don't do that. I was pointing out some inaccuracies in one of the articles cited, and questioning what I saw as a misplaced blending of digital publishing progress with self-publishing success.
     
  25. GingerCoffee
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    The intent of the citation was only to show more and more self-published novels are successful. Cherry picking from the citation did not dispute that fact.

    Progress connotes improvement and it may very well be, but in this case I'm only referring to the changing elements in publishing. It's better for some, and probably worse for others.

    But when it comes to success of the self-published book, the digital revolution has opened wide a door for self-publishing that was previously only barely opened a crack. It's inevitable that would result in more successfully indie-published books reaching the reader.

    You seem to be saying self-published equates to unsuccessful.
     

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