Monday, October 11, 2010

The Permanent Choice

Nothing stymies my creativity like reading agent’s blogs. Constantly I have read about the long odds of being published, about how being able to send out 400 query letters is just as important as the writing you are trying to sell. That quality writing is valued far less than marketability.

Quite frankly, it is enough to drive me away from the standard route of publishing. I haven’t made the decision yet, as it will probably be a permanent one if I do, but going indie is sounding like the most attractive option.

Being in control of my own project is a big part of the allure, as is making much more in profit per sale.

I’m not sure that zombies will be hot in two years, but by the time my book is ready to query, and if by chance an agent accepted it, then a publisher, the process before it hit print would take multiple years. With this, I can finish my novel, beta test it, rewrite and polish as many times as needed, and push my book out in a much more timely fashion.

If I listed my books at a 2.99 for an ebook, and made 70% profit, as are the rates on Amazon, I would earn more per sale than a 10.00 dollar book through a traditional publisher. In some cases, a whole lot more.

Also, I work full time, so an advance isn’t as necessary to me as others. From what I hear, the advances are becoming much more dismal as time goes on anyway. If I am not working, I can’t muster any new fiction. I’m not entirely sure why, but that has been covered in several blog posts.

The risks aren’t being ignored. Self-publishing a book that fails can destroy my long-term ability to find a publisher. From what the industry says, I might as well hang it up if a project doesn’t sell. Lord knows that I need help with editing, and they have professionals who could provide that.

The problem is, I’m not sure I could ever reach the long odds. Even if I write a book that would sell, it would most likely get passed over. Interns will reject stories over their morning coffee, agents and editors will never pull it out of their slush piles, and so on. I’m sure they are all well-meaning people, but trusting them with my future writing career does not seem like the right choice.


  1. It is a tough choice, one I've been struggling with myself. I've got a query out at a small, local publisher and am waiting for the rejection letter any day. I feel like I want a smaller publishing house rather than self-publishing simply because I don't have the time or skills to market myself. Self-pubbed authors have a hard time getting in on local author booksignings and getting shelf space. On the other hand, I could have my book to market a lot more quickly if I do it myself.

    Decisions, decisions...

  2. My main goal isn't bookstore shelves, at least not immediately, but the online ebook market. Createspace and other print on demand companies are great, but I would want my paperbacks selling for about $9.99, a near impossible task from a PoD publisher.

    With the way indie publishing is moving, I wouldn't be surprised if distributors started picking up the better selling ones for stores. Mine would be complete with copywrite, isbn, etc.

    The only thing I feel I need help with is a dedicated editor. I can do most of my line editing, but I need someone who is strict and to the point with plot issues, character problems, and all that. I need a trusted source to help me cut the fat from my novels.


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