Self-publish or go Traditional?

I’ve been thinking about what to do with my future novels: should I continue with self-publishing or go back to sending queries to agencies. The downside to self-publishing is that it takes a lot of time and effort. The hardest part of self-publishing is marketing. Most of us do not have the kind of wealth needed to buy advertising on TV or the radio. Even using the internet to advertise, like with Google ad-words, can be expensive over the long hall and it’s questionable how effective online campaigns are. Still, for the self-publisher, getting the word out is key.

With getting an agent, the marketing aspect is out of your hands. That’s nice since you don’t have to deal with the stress or financial commitment that you need with self-publishing. However, it’s much more difficult to get published by a major book publisher. In the past, I have tried both, with limited success. Still, if one wants to be a writer, than one must write! Even if it means I won’t be the next James Patterson, I find that I enjoy writing enough that it doesn’t have to become a career.

Since I’ve been doing well in my graduate classes so far, all A’s after four classes, I’m becoming more confident that psychology is a good path for me. I think I could find myself with a job in psychology that I at least can be content with, if not excited about. I think that’s really important. It’s one thing to work in retail, it’s easy enough to keep and pays something, but it’s another to find a career that pays well and is enjoyable. That’s the tough part. Most of these kind of jobs require a long stent in academia, which might be too hard or boring for some.

Whatever the case, I won’t give up my dream of becoming a successful novelist. Thankfully, this won’t be an expensive dream! That is, unless I decide to invest a lot of money in it. For now, my self-publishing exploits have required a very small investment. I’m looking forward to having my second book in print, instead of strictly e-books. My latest goal is to try and finish my third novel in time for the next Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I have till the end of January to finish my first draft, though I hope to finish the second draft by then. I’d like to submit it instead of resubmitting Fallen Raven.

In my expereince, self-publishing is fun and I would recommend it to those who want more control over their work. It’s also a good way to get your work out there for others to read, even though you aren’t likely to make much money off of it. Going the more taditional route is probably best, and most affordable, but it does mean you’re counting on a lot of luck. That is why I have done both and will likely try to get an agent for my third novel. I’ve got a good feeling about this one!

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2 thoughts on “Self-publish or go Traditional?

  1. For me, I didn't even try going traditional. I guess I'm a bit impatient and didn't want to wait 2 years to see my work in print. With Amazon changing the publishing game, I thought to myself, why not? I can have creative control, push out books whenever I like and, and collect 70% royalties. Of course, the hard part is marketing and selling lol.

    Of course, I'm also open to traditional publishing, but I thought I'd try it out myself first and see how it goes from there.

    Good luck with your project!

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