To Self-Publish or To Traditionally Publish: THAT is the Question.

I’ve been thinking a lot about self-publishing lately. Dahlia Adler recently wrote a great blog post about different publishing paths, and how to choose yours. Hugh Howey wrote an article for Salon explaining why authors should choose to self-publish. On his blog, Chuck Wendig responded by asserting that both traditional publishing and self-publishing are viable options. Mike Stackpole, one of my favorite writers in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, is a great proponent of digital self-publishing. Thanks to Twitter, I’m also aware of a lot more people choosing the self-publishing path, and two of my Star Wars friends (Bryan Young and Janine Spendlove) are self-published authors. Even the Sword and Laser podcast is getting in on the action, with a short story anthology coming soon.

Despite all the great information out there on the web, I’m still torn on how I want to get my writing out into the world. I still have a few months until my latest WIP is ready to pitch, however I choose to do so. But in the meantime, I can’t stop thinking about what I want to do. I’ve queried one novel, and got valuable experience doing so. I’m currently pitching short stories to various publications. In this way, I’m looking for validation (not to mention a lot of much-needed help and guidance) from “the gatekeepers.” Part of me really wants to get an agent and sell a book to a traditional publisher. I keep thinking to myself, “You already have a full-time job. Do you really want another?”

Sometimes, I answer myself: “Yes!” I want to control my career. I want to be able to write a short novella and put it on Amazon and not have to worry about whether or not its marketable. I want to be able to choose my cover and decide on a marketing plan and release as many books as year as I want (within reason). I don’t want to rely on a publisher for all of this stuff.
Yet, I sometimes do. It would be nice to have somebody hold my hand through the process. But I can do that with self-publishing, too.
I could be a hybrid author: publish traditionally and on my own. Some agencies, like Foreward Literary, are encouraging this. And that’s great! It really is! But it still doesn’t make my self-imposed “choice” any easier.
In the meantime, I’ll keep writing…

2 thoughts on “To Self-Publish or To Traditionally Publish: THAT is the Question.

  1. Personally, I figure that you can always self-publish later, if you don’t like being traditionally published, but if you start out self-publishing and don’t have good results, it might make it harder to get a traditional publishing deal afterwards. Again, that depends on whether you’re interested in being traditionally published at all. I know I’ll probably go hybrid, while establishing a traditional publishing career first.

  2. Great post.

    Maybe go after traditional publishers and if you don’t like the contract they offer (I’m thinking positively) , self publish.

    I’ve self published and traditionally published. I’ve even been endorsed by Deepak Chopra. And let me tell you, you’ll be holding your own hand either way.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    “The Complete Bullshit-Free and Totally Tested Writing Guide: How To Make Publishers, Agents, Editors & Readers Fall In Love With Your Work” – 1.99 on Kindle

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