#AcresOfInk Writing Challenge ~ Question 34

Quick blog post for y’all today! Thought I’d tackle the next question in the #AcresofInk challenge. Obviously quite a lot of time has passed since I answered the previous question in this challenge; you can find that post here and the full list of challenge questions here.

34. Your thoughts on… Self-publishing or Traditional publishing?

Thinking about writing

I presume this means what I’d prefer to do with The Mayor once its done. Personally, I’d rather be traditionally published than take my book to market on my own. Why? A couple of reasons:

1) Traditional publishing does a lot of the leg work necessary to get the book to market for you.

So, that includes later-stage editing, copy editing, jacket design, advertising, production and distribution. If you opt to self-publish, you’d have to look for, run due-diligence on and — perhaps most importantly — pay for all that stuff yourself! Of course, if you self-published successfully and did really well, you’d make more money than you would if you’d traditionally published. Plus publishers’ input into all of the above aspects varies from author to author, book to book, meaning you could get published only for your book to perform poorly and you get dropped. So there is that to consider…

Nevertheless, I scarcely have the time and energy to write and edit my book to a submittable state as it is, so I’d really appreciate the team effort!

2) There’s something more validating to me about being picked up by a publisher than me “caving” and opting to publish the book by myself.

Getting picked up means that someone — an agent initially, and then a publisher — felt my book was good enough to want to invest in and sell. Now, objectively speaking, this is ridiculous. Publishing is a business first and foremost, and businesses sniff out what sells, not necessarily what is good. There are tons of incredible self-published books out there (the WOOL omnibus by Hugh Howey, for example — one of my faves, go read it!). Likewise there are also some truly awful books out there that are traditionally published (I shan’t name and shame, just check out my Goodreads for what I like and dislike).

Despite my knowing all this however, I can’t help but hold up being traditionally publication as The Dream. I think it’s a valid dream. Would I self-publish The Mayor if it never got accepted? Maybe. It’d be hard not to feel like a bit of a failure in that instance though. I think I’d be more likely to go away, write another book and try again. Each to their own! I have nothing but admiration for those who self-publish; they’re a lot less lazy than I am.

I fully reserve to change my mind on everything I’ve written above in the future XD

S.E. Berrow