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My Quandary: Publish Traditionally or Join the Self-Publishing Revolution

The reaction to one of my posts last week, A Great Rejection, both shocked and delighted me. I was contacted by several people regarding my book and the decision of whether to publish traditionally or self-publish. Many of those who contacted me encouraged me to publish my novel myself.

Honestly, self-publication was my original plan. Then I met the agent. I like her and honestly believe she would offer great representation. So, it’s not a question of finding someone I’d like to have represent me. It’s not nearly so simple.

It’s a question of control, time, money, marketing, knowledge, and courage. If I sign a contract with a publisher, that company gets to decide what my cover looks like, where my book will be made available, in what format my book is available, when it’s released, and how it’s formatted.

If I use an agent and sign a contract with a publisher, my agent gets a commission from every book I sell. Her commission is taken out of my royalty, which is a small percentage of the sale, not the publisher’s portion. On a book that sells for $10.00, I would likely only make 68 cents to 85 cents per copy depending how generous a contract the agent can negotiate.

The time consideration is not a light topic. It takes a long time from signing with an agent to holding my book in my hand. The time factor is something to carefully consider. I’ve heard it’s typical to wait eighteen months to two years for publication once a publishing contract is signed. If it takes a year or more to get a contract, that’s approximately three years the book has been in limbo. That is a really long time.

There is a certain amount prestige attached to traditional publishing. However, the stigma that once clung to self-published work has all but disappeared. I know many wonderful authors who have taken the reins of their own careers and are doing well.

One of my self-published author friends told me that she made enough money in her first year of publication to pay cash for a late-model used car. She’s been encouraging me to take the plunge into self-publishing for years.

This is a big decision, not to be made lightly. I’ve reached out to a few authors I know and asked for real, hard numbers and the wisdom of their experiences. One of those authors is a hybrid author who publishes both ways. Her knowledge has been most helpful.

I’m honored to count so many amazing people as my friends. Those who refused to stay quiet when they thought I may be selling myself short offered me eye-opening facts and opinions. They never would have said anything if they didn’t care. I received many such communications. That makes me one loved lady, indeed.

We should never fear the truth. We should pursue it with great gusto. We may be surprised by the facts.

Stay safe and healthy, my friends!

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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