Today is November 1. November is NaNoWriMo. You may remember that last year I began writing a book in November, and even though it’s not a novel (it is one of my apologetics lectures expanded into book form) I used the prompts from NaNoWriMo as motivation. I never finished my book though. I have written approximately 10 percent and I have someone who has agreed to edit it for me. I see no reason why I cannot be finished with the entire draft stage before the month is over. With that said, this November I don’t necessarily have the goal of finishing, but I do plan on making progress every single day of the month, including Thanksgiving.
Feel free to keep me accountable towards my goal. Text me, tweet me, leave a comment here, whatever.
Even though my book is still pretty nascent, I have considered what to do when I finish. Should I submit it to a traditional publisher, or should I have it self-published? As I see it, there are only four advantages to traditional publishing
1. Approval – If a traditional publisher agrees to use the resources that publishing a book requires then it means that somebody (who should know) thinks I am worth publishing. In my estimation, this is the number one reason by a long way.
In my mind, even though this is the number one reason, successful sales of the book would make this reason obsolete.
2. Promotion – Since the company has a financial interest in the success of the book, they would have a reason to promote it. Also, since it’s their business, they have the know-how and resources to make it financially successful.
3. Editing – I have someone who has agreed to edit my book and I am planning to pay her. If a company agreed to publish the book they would have their own editor to and it would save me some money. Speaking of money…
4. Getting paid - I am certain that I would make less money by going through a traditional publisher. I am also sure I will not be happy about what happens with the rights to the book. I am also pretty sure that I would be on the losing end of a contract. However, there is no up-front cost. Self publishing, at least if I decide to have print copies made, is very expensive on the front end.
That’s it, that’s the list. And really, if I am honest, the first reason is the only reason that would motivate me to seek out traditional publishing. In every other way I think self publishing is better. I keep the rights, I can do what I please with it. I will make more money if it actually generates sales. If I were already a published author, this would not even be a question for me. I would self-publish.
I know that technology has changed the world, and publishing is one of the areas where the impact is strongest. There is no need to go through a traditional publisher, but if my book is self-published, I feel as if I am being dishonest by saying I am a published author. (There is one post on this blog that has been read several thousand times and only received positive comments, so it’s not as if I have had no success at writing. It just doesn’t feel the same)
I know I often beg for comments, but I would really love to know your thoughts on this. Especially if you have been published before.