Traditional v. Self-Publishing – The Pros and Cons of Each – The Writers’ Podcast, Ep 03

trad v self pod ep 3

Which publishing approach is best for you? We run down the pros and cons of traditional and self-publishing and provide some insights to help authors decide which avenue is best for them.

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6 comments

  1. First I am with S on this one, watch the Notebook. It is the one romance movie that lets dudes keep their “mancard”.

    I chose Self-pub myself as a means of advertising. Now that I have been in it a few years I have come to see I will probably always use it for some of my books. The main thing for me is it would be so nice to hand someone my book and they just take it and get it edited and find the cover and market it with me. I mean I love the control I get, but honestly it can be tiring.

    In cost it really is often a matter of pay now or pay later. Unless you blow up, which is good no matter where or how you publish.

    In the end good books don’t get picked up. I think it is like Marvel and DC, it is great to have both, even if you are a fan of just one. The reason is, they push each other. They have to work to attract people to their way so that fight can make both better us.

    Another great podcast guys. A hungry fan says make them faster. lol

  2. This is such a great post! Love your pros and cons from both sides of the aisle.
    I agree each person needs to look at which method best serves them and is the best fit.

    That being said, much respect to each writer and their chosen paths, but to me, it seems some get so consumed with query letters, literary agents, and being traditionally published, they lose sight of the writing. Writers write because they have to, and it doesn’t matter whether the results of all their hard work is traditionally published, self-published, or sits in a collection of plastic totes for thirty years, the passion has to be fulfilled! (Okay, that last one may just be me.)

    I found the Grafton quote most annoying… okay, it pissed me off! How condescending and self-serving! Do we have to say, “Mother, may I?” before we hit the publish button? Raymond’s response was perfect! LOL! 😀

    I was in a chat earlier this week where a new, unpublished author said he’d rather burn his MS than self-publish because it was the “kiss of death.” I offered to supply matches. He thought my humor fell short. I asked him what humor? It had to be said. The elitist attitude that self-published books are ‘less than’ is another pet peeve of mine because I’ve read too many craptastic books which bore a publisher’s stamp.

    Self-publishing isn’t a perfect process but it is a process which is evolving. There will always be those who create their own less-than-stellar covers and edit their own books, but discounting a portion of the publishing world [that is growing and not going anywhere] because of a few rogue Indies is ridiculous.

    On the flip-side… traditional publishing? Meh. You’ve lost control of your book, are subject to someone else’s RULES and deadlines, and most importantly, it’s not a sure path to a bestseller either. The very thought of it all just makes me want to… pour another cup of coffee! 😀

    Enjoy the weekend and have a great 4th! 😉

  3. This is a great podcast! I wish I’d found something like this back in 2013. After failing to attract a literary agent for the traditional route, I decided to try the third option: ePub. Like so many other aspiring writers, I didn’t think anyone would read my books, unless they were put out by some kind of publisher and ePubs were quite popular in the changing market.

    Their biggest selling point, is you don’t have to have a literary agent in order to submit to them. Even the larger publishers, like Harlequin, have their own ePubs where they don’t require an agent. They also offer larger royalties, because they’re not paying to print your books. However, the control is still the same. They have all of it, and the writer has very little. Also, in my experience, their marketing support is pretty much non-existent, leaving the author 100% responsible for all of it – yet without the ability to put their books up for promotional sales.

    Any self-publisher knows that 90% of the promotional sites won’t allow you to advertise with them unless your book is on sale, so that makes marketing an eBook published through an ePub extremely difficult. In 2016 I put out my first self-published book and I love it. I’m not sure I would ever go back to giving up all my control again, even for a big name publishing house. I still have contracts with my ePub that I’m hoping to eliminate as soon as possible, because frankly, those books don’t sell at all. My self-published books are selling, they’re gaining exposure and reviews, because I can control their prices and where they get promoted.

    The cost factor, the paying up front vs. paying later through your royalties, is definitely going to remain the biggest obstacle for aspiring writers. But, more and more professionals are emerging in the Indie circles, offering their services at inexpensive prices, so self-published books don’t have to use Clip Art for their covers! LOL. To me, the proof is in the sales numbers and positive reviews, not in how the book was put out onto the market.

    1. I wasn’t aware larger publishers offer ePub deals, too! I know some offer special “help” specifically for self-published authors, under different names, but of course at the cost of a kidney. And of course, if you know me, I’m all about control so I’m definitely not even pretending to consider a deal like that lol, I do hope you eliminate your contracts soon. The independent professionals in our circle are also really talented people who are looking for exposure, so it’s a win-win for all of us involved. The rest of it? Well, as time goes on, we’ll figure it out! 😉

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