The past few days have been dedicated to the growing conflict between my spouse and me regarding the differences of opinion relating to self-publishing.
Here is the basic argument: My husband believes that self-publishing is the route I should take.
His primary reason for this is the delay between a publisher accepting a piece of writing versus the time it actually makes it into print. He views the delay as a loss of money, as self-publishing would allow for a longer print run.
Now, I cannot disagree with this. The harsh reality is a 14+ month wait from acquisition to print. It is a difficult pill to swallow. Now, granted, I can be working on my next novel in that period of time, but with ever shrinking advances, 5k (and that is being too charitable!!) isn't a whole lot to live on for 14 months. I can make more than 5k in 14 months on cheap contract work. (Which my husband enjoys pointing out.)
I do not want to delude myself into thinking I could get a big advance. I'm somewhat realistic.
However, my argument comes up in I would have to foot the bill on the things the publisher would typically pick up. These include:
- Cover Art
- Formatting for print
- Formatting for ebooks
- Basic Marketing
Now, there are a few perks to going this route. These include:
- Picking my own cover art, hiring the artist of choice, etc
- Picking my editor.
- Handling my marketing or picking someone I trust to do my marketing for me.
- Fast publication time.
- Selecting my own pricing.
There are disadvantages. These include:
- A lot more edit work I have to do on my own.
- Investment for all of the above things a publisher would normally handle.
- No brand backing my work.
- No agent for advice. Some self-pubbers have agents, but I strongly doubt I would get approached by an agent, and I expect I would be busy enough where I would not have time to go shopping for one.
- The negative impact of having gone the self-publishing route.
There are shared advantages and disadvantages of each, of course. The most notable point being::
- There is NO guarantee that I would succeed either by traditional OR self-publishing methods.
There are a lot of things missing from this list. I realize this. This is a uncomplicated form for those who are just dipping their feet into the process of determining which route is best.
On a personal front, I want to support the traditional publishing venue. However, I have to be realistic as well. I can afford to invest ~$1,500 to get my cover art, start marketing, and pay an editor to pick over my book.
I do not think I can afford to wait 14+ months with no chance of income at all. It is all-or-nothing in my personal situation. I have the choice of contract work -- which is paying less and less with each passing day as individuals seek volume and sacrifice quality. Or, I can buckle down and start producing books and selling them for the kindle or print.
At least this way, the stories I love to write might make it out to the populations that like to read. It is unlikely I will land in the coveted top 100. But, if I do not take life by the horns and ride the bull, I will never have a chance at all to shine.