I was recently asked about whether I would self-publish my book, when it is finished. When I was discussing this, I told the person that I was more than likely leaning towards the traditional publishing method. And there are some reasons for it.
While I think that the self-publishing model would give me the monetary enticement to potentially make a good deal of money (providing that a lot of people purchase the book, of course), there is an underlying methodology to my consideration of the traditional model.
The first thing is that I do not have the arrogance to believe that my first book will make me either rich or famous. History shows that even the best of authors take different paths with a great many of them being rejected multiple times before actually getting discovered.
The second thing comes from a Writing Excuses podcast where they discussed this very subject. What was said was something interesting that I took very much to heart. They came to the conclusion that it was actually better for a writer to build up a “stable” of books that you can turn into potentially publishable ones. The reason for this is you don’t want to go massive amounts of time between titles that you can have out for the public to consume. I thought that this made the most sense in terms of whether it was better to go the traditional route or the self-published route.
The third thing kind of runs off of the second one, but I decided to make it its own consideration. And that is if I go the traditional publishing route and I get a book deal, it is more than likely I will be asked, “Do you have any other titles?” If I haven’t written a number of books, then I will be stuck with just one book in the can and it will look like I am putting all of my eggs in one basket. I would rather be more of a Brandon Sanderson (I know…such a fanboy) type of writer, than a George RR Martin/Patrick Rothfuss kind of writer where I come to popularity from my first title and it takes me years to get the 2nd one done. I would rather be known as a hard-working author who writes a great number of things, than a one-trick pony.
The final thing, which is kind of my personal thing, is that I am looking forward to that first rejection letter. It gives me impetus to be able to go after being a better author. You don’t know how good you are until an agent or publisher tells you how good you are. So any real indication of where I am, is always a good thing. When I first learned how to write college-level History papers, I really had to be called to the carpet on multiple occasions to stop writing History papers like I wrote Philosophy papers. They are different disciplines and as such needed a different structure to them. But that was good because I needed to hear how to properly write not only a college-level paper, but also a graduate-level paper. So when I thought about the idea of a rejection letter, I actually look to it as a good benchmark of where I am in my writing ability. I can have lots of friends and acquaintances tell me that they enjoy my writing, but they are totally biased and while I like the support, I’m also old enough to understand that while they may buy my books, it really requires a larger number of people to purchase my book to be considered a popular success.
I definitely will keep my eye on the industry to see how things change, but at the moment I think I am definitely in the camp of the traditional model.
What do you guys think? What camp are you in? And why are you in that camp?
Would love to hear what you guys think about this. You never know…I could be convinced to change my mind
Have a great weekend!!