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Traditional publishing vs Self publishing, the pros and cons

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Chime85, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Chime85

    Chime85 Sage

    Good morning, afternoon and evening scribers, I hope you are well. I have recently stumbled across a dilemma regarding my current WIP. That is, do I keep it as a trilogy as I intended, or as a duet?

    The reason for my issue is because as a trilogy, book 1 does not have much of a climatic ending, while as a duet, it would. However, that would bump up the (approx.) word count from 120k per book to 180k per book. As you can see, a huge difference.

    That has forced me to consider if perhaps I should look at the major differences regarding traditional publishing and self-publishing. From what I know so far, traditional publishing offers more exposure to your works and less hassle on your part when it comes to marketing and editing, but self-publishing eliminates limits such as word count and flavour of the month MMS taking priority.

    What are the pros and cons of both forms of publishing? I decided to post this thread as a way, not only satisfy my own curiosity on the subject, but to create a debated discussion for anyone asking the same questions. It’s time to throw these two into the ring and see which comes out on top.
    With that in mind, please give as much detail as you can for both forms of publishing, the pros and cons.

    Remember, Fluttershy is watching you :p x
  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    It depends on what kind of book you're writing, how hard you work, and how much of a reputation you have or can build on your own.

    Traditional publishing might give you more exposure, sure. But their help in marketing is often exaggerated. With a traditional publisher, you have a fairly short window in which to make your book a success or it will still tank, and you have to work hard to promote your book within that window to make it work. Most likely, you have to do the same things you would do to be successful self-publishing that you do to go with traditional publishing. Only once your book is successful will their marketing budgets and networking gurus kick in.

    Traditional publishers try and appeal to the mass market. If you're writing a story for the mass market, there's no topping traditional publishers.

    If you know how to promote your book, and your book is written for a small niche market, you might genuinely be better off with self-publishing. You can network within a niche and saturate your market most effectively by being an active presence in those target communities, and at that point, a publisher would just eat into your royalties and dictate how your should tinker your work for an audience they don't understand.

    I am trying to write stories with mass-market appeal, but I get the impression that many people in this community are targeting niche markets.
    Lorna and Chime85 like this.
  3. Chime85

    Chime85 Sage

    That's an excellent insight to the publishing world, Devor; something I have not yet considered. Another thing I was pondering, was regarding outlets for self-publishing. For instance, say I loaded up a piece onto amazon, would I still be able to put that piece onto Lulu at the same time?
  4. robertbevan

    robertbevan Troubadour

    absolutely. that's another neat thing about self publishing. you keep all the rights. you put it out wherever you want. i've got my book published in every e-book distributor out there. the only thing keeping me from getting a paperback version out on the market through createspace is that i'm not currently in the u.s., and so i can't set up the required bank account.

    can't wait til winter vacation!
    Chime85 likes this.
  5. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    Wait, you can't sell through Createspace without a US bank account? That's no good. They were happy to send free proofs to the UK when they had an offer with NaNoWriMo, but I would never have been able to sell without a US bank account anyway? That's messed up.

    Eh, my sister's moving to America next month because she got a job with a major online company over there. I'll get her to take the cash and pay me. I'll offer her a percentage for handling fees.
    Chime85 likes this.
  6. I think Createspace will work in the UK now. I'm not entirely sure though.
    Chilari and Chime85 like this.

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