Wrong path? #IWSG

Got close to missing #IWSG today due to a packed morning with the little one.

I haven’t really edited my book much lately since I’m still waiting for one more beta reader. However, that doesn’t stop me from looking at the business side of the publishing world and further fret about previous decisions (and work on the never-ending short story). The big one is to self-publish or to try and go the traditional route.

On the self-publishing side, obviously I have to handle everything somehow. Creating a new business, marketing, cover art, interior… It’s a lot of work. When it comes to the marketing in particular, I want to run for cover. Who do I partner with to make it all possible? What pitfalls do I need to watch out for? Where do I start?

The traditional end comes with its own set of questions: agent or directly deal with a publisher? Will I be forced to make changes to my book that go against my grand plan? Will I get stuck in some ridiculous contract? As it is, I’m watching a friend of mine go through her rounds with trying to find an agent. Her optimism in the face of rejection letters is something I can admire.

But, the real question that it all boils down to is which path is really the right one for me? I’ve been trying to gear up towards a self-publishing path, but I’ve been wondering if maybe I’m wrong. I’d have to extend my book by a lot to make it viable for traditional. I looked at one publisher’s demands that fantasy be at 100K words and cried. I thought about sending to agents to see if there was even any interest, but, well, you can imagine all the wonderful problems that could come from that.

While I debate the issue, I’ll keep plugging away at projects and keep formulating an idea for my next book. Got to have something to write for NaNoWriMo.

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5 responses to “Wrong path? #IWSG

  1. Everyone’s path is different. Self-publishing just wasn’t for me but I knew landing an agent would be too difficult, so I went the small press route. When your story is polished, see what publishers are taking. If it doesn’t fit, we have a wealth of information at the IWSG site for those who self-publish.

  2. Having no restrictions is definitely an attractive part of self-publishing. You can do things a publisher wouldn’t do, especially from a first-time author. But plenty of people do both, depending on the project. Keeping writing whatever happens is definitely the way to go.

  3. I went with self-publishing, but I think my goals with writing are different than those seeking to be career authors. I don’t ever expect to become a full-time writer, nor do I strive for it. I’m perfectly happy as a computer programmer. My goals were to write and publish my series, which self-publishing allows me to do. Yes, it would have been nice having the validation of a gatekeeper to tell me I’m good enough, that I measure up. That’s one of the honor badges traditional publishing gives you. I know if I queried, I would likely not be accepted. It’s too long. Too many characters. Too slow. Too complex. Oh well. Perhaps it’s a defeatist attitude, but I know I wouldn’t win on the first go, so I went my own way. If people buy it, I’m happy, but I am more delighted when the waitress at Shari’s says she finished the 170K in 9 hours straight and loved every minute of it. That makes self-publishing worth it for me, because otherwise, I wouldn’t have had a book to hand her.

    But it is a lot of work, and a lot of money. It costs to have someone perform editing, design a cover, and format a book. I only paid for the editing myself, but it’s generally said not to do your own cover and formatting takes a lot of time. It’s an investment, and unless you do the marketing, you might not make back what you put in.

    You will likely find more sales and a greater market if you pitch and query. You will also gain more approval in many eyes, because you have the backing of a gatekeeper to say your work is good. There’s still a stigma attached to self-published work. But it takes time and a strong backbone to face rejection after rejection. And there is the potential of requiring to change your work to fit someone else’s preference. Sometimes it’s for the better.

    Whatever your decision, I wish you great success.

    Oh, and Moon Called, the first of the popular Mercy Thompson series which is fantasy (urban) was 97K. That’s under 100K. đŸ™‚

    • Ironically, I’m a fan of the Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series. Honestly, I never paid attention to the length of the books. Just how good the story was. I think once I started seeing hard numbers that the industry wanted to see, I started to panic. Then started to wonder if I should try for a gatekeeper validation to make sure it was worth putting out there.

      I don’t see myself being a career author. I just want to get my story out there (at some point). And probably continue the story even if I get only a few people who enjoy it. I think my biggest moment of recognition would be to see it in print – even if it came in the mail from Amazon.

      Slowly I’ve been collecting recommendations of cover artists and the like so that I have a rough idea of what I would be paying out of pocket. Working with my accountant (husband) on when and what type of business to set up, etc. I haven’t made any author pages/websites/etc other than this and re-purposing my twitter handle and I don’t know how far ahead is too pretentious to do so. So on and so forth.

      I probably sound silly and am overthinking everything.

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