This is a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while. While I’m not yet to this stage yet, as I continue editing, I know it’s slowing coming up on the horizon.
Here’s what I know about each.
Traditional is the what almost everyone knows. First, you send a query letter to an agent and if they like it, they take on the project. Then, they try to sell it to a publishing house. If it gets picked up, then a year or two is spent editing it and getting ready to publish it. The publishing house handles all marketing, and they get a 30-45% cut. Also the agent gets a 15-30% cut. You get the rest (after taxes)
With self publishing, you do all the work yourself. You have to edit (or pay someone to edit it for you.) You have to pick the covers, you do all the marketing. A lot of self publishing is done on ebooks, but if you want hard copies, you have to order and pay for these yourself. From self publishing, since the middle man is cut out, you get to keep more of the money, like 60-70%
For the longest time, I’ve heard people say self publishing is bad. Once you go down this road, you’ll never be able to get back. But it seems like in the last few years, public opinion has been changing.
I see the benefits for both. On one hand, traditional looks pretty good. They do all the work. For someone who doesn’t know much about the market, or who isn’t good at selling themselves, this is key. You have people who do this as a job *and you hope* know what they’re doing.
On the other hand, you do so so so much work and in traditional, you gotta pay up. Your agent, the publishing house, everyone gets a piece of the pie. Yes, you still have to pay when you self publish, but you get to keep a lot more of the money to yourself.
I think the really big deciding factor out there is time. In traditional, it can take quite a long time to get the book out there. The publishing house will usually have a long list of books and your will be in the line up. In self, it’s a lot fast. Once you feel the book is ready, then it’s ready. You submit and bam.
So it’s really a toss up. I’m honestly not sure what I want to do. I’ve heard a lot of stories about how hard it is to get an agent. They say for every story which they request a full reading, one hundred more are tossed into the slush pile.
But if you do break through and get an agent and into a publishing house, they do all the hard work to get your book out here.
What do you guys thinks? Anything to share?
Have a great week =)