I know a lot of writers who would rather not self-publish and wait until a traditional publisher accepts their manuscript. It is common knowledge that most authors do not sell more than a hundred copies in their lifetime as millions of books are published every year. So, for those of us Indie Authors that have sold thousands of books and are still going strong, it’s time to raise a glass.
I have never been traditionally published however, there are still rules that apply either side of the divide. The author still has a role to play. Being traditionally published does not give a writer the leeway to fold their arms and expect the publishers to perform magic. It’s mostly a joint effort these days. And for those who are looking to make a great success of being a self-published author, you need more than good writing skills to make a success of it. Tenacity and grit, and being an all-rounder from being a good salesman, to great marketing skills, content development, building a strong brand online and offline are some of vital skill-sets to make a success of being a self-published Author. Writing what you deem stellar with none of the above is tantamount to amount to the same result of selling just a handful of copies.
The other benefits of being independently published is that you are in control of the creative process. It is vital to note that a publisher’s budget is limited and having a queue of writers means they can overlook so many fantastic manuscripts. For writers who are contemplating the next steps after completing that manuscript, look for a good editor either you are giving self-publishing a long-hard look or thinking of submitting to literary agents. That might be your first step to making a good success of it. Other important tools to think about are cover design, an attention-grabbing title, an ISBN number and formatting of the manuscript as a paperback and eBook if self-publishing is your final habitat.
I have enjoyed being an indie Author and I would walk the indie path over again if I have to make the choice. There are so many successful traditionally published authors that self-publish their books from time to time. So, being a self-published author does not make you less of a writer or doesn’t make you crap.
Also, if you want to keep most of your royalties, then being self-published is the best way to go. As what most traditionally published authors get is a pittance compared to the royalties available to self-published authors. However, if your dream is literary acclaim, being traditionally published might be the best route, as most literary prizes do not accept self-published books.
This is a difficult topic to discuss but if the rejection mails don’t stop coming through, it might be worth it giving self-publishing a try rather than allow that manuscript gather dust.
Traditionally or Independently published, which would you go for? Let me know in the comments section below.