My Twisted Writer Brain…

I Often Sense a Bit of a Snob in The Room… Authors: Traditional Published Vs Self Published. Is One Better Than the Other?

The debate rages on and actually it pisses me off a bit because as authors, we should hold each other up, not sneer down our nose at others.

SideBar: This is written as an observation/brain blurb/opinion and does no reflect on anyone I know personally and/or professionally. I’d really like your thoughts on the situation though. Whether Indie or Trad published…what do YOU think? Comment below. Like. Share. Follow.

Huh? you ask. Oh come on. We all know who you are…

The authors that pull out their beautiful pristine book and announce the publishing house before the name of the book. They WANT you to know that they were traditionally published. I get it. I really do.

It’s a Vanna White moment… of sweeping pride and wanting all to know you’re one of the chosen. I’m also as jealous AF and want that for myself… but I hope when I actually reach that moment, that I do so with grace, gratitude, and no attitude.

I have an agent. She believes in me but unfortunately she’s had no luck in selling my first novel. Dang–it’s so frustrating.

The question always sneaks into my brain…well, should I self publish? But I’m not quite there.

Let’s face it, the industry wasn’t built to accommodate millions of writers. With more and more mergers happening, opportunities are waning. Does that mean you give up?

You have to ask yourself what you want.

Do you want to see your book in print before you die?

Then, yeah, go do an indie.

Are you in it for the long haul and doing everything you can to connect with agents (and/or publishers–some of the smaller houses will take pitches without an agent.)

Get your ear to the ground. Do your research. Determine within yourself how long you’re willing to continue with the process.

Work hard and go for it. You don’t know what the future holds.

If you Indie Publish, I say Brava/Bravo. There are many successful and popular Indie Authors. I will ask you only two things…

  1. Don’t rush the process. Put in the work. It’s a better reflection on you and your writing.
  2. Edit. Edit. Edit. and Edit. Then–let it sit for a month and read it aloud so you can edit again.

Traditional Published Authors Work Hard too…

Gone are the days of huge advances on books and special treatment for traditionally published authors.

All authors, regardless of how they’re published, are expected to actively participate in marketing and promotion. There must be a strong sense of self and a willingness to travel and sell, sell, sell.

Getting an agent or securing a traditional publisher is not a guarantee of a best selling book. The one real positive is that you, as an author, are not alone in the process. Someone is directing the show, so to speak.

Writing is very hard work. Rewriting can be even more difficult. All writers need to listen to and know the industry. Be smart. Set yourself up for success and push forward.

Hey Traditional Published Authors Don’t be a Snot to Indies!

I’m not saying all are walking around with a puffed chest feeling superior to an Indie Author–but some are and it needs to stop.

Trad-Pub Authors–you’re no better than anyone else. Use your knowledge of craft to help other writers. Lift them up. Give them some pointers. Don’t be a jerk and stick your nose in the air. Not cool.

Anyone who sits down and completes a full manuscript deserves respect. It’s a lot of work and takes time and dedication.

We are not each other’s competition.

Get that through your head now. You can’t write what I do and I can’t write like you. We’re totally separate. Embrace that reality.

Let me know your thoughts…snotty or not lol.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

lf you enjoyed this post, please like, comment, and share. Oh and don’t forget to follow too.

20 thoughts on “I Often Sense a Bit of a Snob in The Room… Authors: Traditional Published Vs Self Published. Is One Better Than the Other?”

  1. I’m a hard-core proponent of the self-pub route. It’s the only path that makes sense for *me*.

    It’s not the only path that makes sense.

    A lot depends on what you want from your writing, what you’re willing to do for your writing, and how you see writing in terms of your life.

    I want job security. I want to continue writing and making a living from my novels. I’m willing to write and publish and grow my audience. I’m willing to help others along the path. Writing isn’t something that I’m going to ever finish. (Well, yeah. Other than, you know, RIP.)

    BUT

    That’s me. I have nothing but the utmost respect for people who walk the trad path. For many, it’s the only logical choice. I respect that choice and their work.

    Heck, I’d sign a contract if somebody offered one I could afford to take. I’ve turned down a few because I’m not going to take a day job to support a publishing habit and I can’t give publishers the time they want between releases because the stories get too backed up.

    It bugs me when somebody says one path is easier than the other. They’re not easier. Just different. They require the same amount of effort to get to “final manuscript.”

    It’s only what happens afterwards that’s different.

    Self pubbers have to deal with editing, covers, formatting, production, distribution, etc. We’re the prime contractors building a new edifice every few months.

    On the other path, anybody who thinks querying, submitting, waiting, revising, negotiating, dealing with contracts, and all the other slings and arrows trads have to deal with is easy has never tried to do it.

    JMO. YMMV.

    Like

  2. I’m a hard-core proponent of the self-pub route. It’s the only path that makes sense for *me*.

    It’s not the only path that makes sense.

    A lot depends on what you want from your writing, what you’re willing to do for your writing, and how you see writing in terms of your life.

    I want job security. I want to continue writing and making a living from my novels. I’m willing to write and publish and grow my audience. I’m willing to help others along the path. Writing isn’t something that I’m going to ever finish. (Well, yeah. Other than, you know, RIP.)

    BUT

    That’s me. I have nothing but the utmost respect for people who walk the trad path. For many, it’s the only logical choice. I respect that choice and their work.

    Heck, I’d sign a contract if somebody offered one I could afford to take. I’ve turned down a few because I’m not going to take a day job to support a publishing habit and I can’t give publishers the time they want between releases because the stories get too backed up.

    It bugs me when somebody says one path is easier than the other. They’re not easier. Just different. They require the same amount of effort to get to “final manuscript.”

    It’s only what happens afterwards that’s different.

    Self pubbers have to deal with editing, covers, formatting, production, distribution, etc. We’re the prime contractors building a new edifice every few months.

    On the other path, anybody who thinks querying, submitting, waiting, revising, negotiating, dealing with contracts, and all the other slings and arrows trads have to deal with is easy has never tried to do it.

    JMO. YMMV.

    Like

    1. HI Nathan. Thanks for stopping by. You’ve said this very well. I agree with you. It’s about the individual. I often hear, well I pubbed my book…now what? Well, the work is still going. I feel proud of you that you’re supporting yourself as a writer. does that sound stupid? lol…it’s just that when I learn that someone other than JK Rowling or James Pattison actually support themselves I cheer…and you’re self published. Keep going my friend. and thanks so much for sharing.

      Like

      1. In the beginning, the best answer I could come up with for “Now what?” is “Write the next book.”

        It took a few titles before I could earn enough to pay off the mortgage, replace both our salaries, cover the health insurance costs, and taxes, but I got there.

        “Write the next book” is still the best answer for me, although it’s not a popular one for new authors to hear.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Faye,

    I really enjoy your blogs. They are very informative and helpful. I have learned a lot from reading them.

    I am just beginning to edit my Memoir stories and fashion them into a first draft for my book.

    I’m 74 so if I want to live to see my book I will have to self publish. However before I self publish I will contact a couple of small publishers here in BC first and see what happens.

    If I self publish I will use my election campaign experience to market the book. To build a platform. For me this could be the fun part. A great retirement project. I will maintain a web site, a Facebook page, do blogs and do some broadcasts via YouTube and or Facebook. The broadcasts would be readings from my book. I might also utilize Zoom for this purpose as well. If I can build up a following then I might revisit local publishers and see if they might reconsider publishing.

    My memoir is about political stories – little tid bits about people I met and interesting events I participated in. It’s also about my coming out as a gay person late in life. I guess my book actually has two potential audiences.

    I have taken several online creative writing courses, and a couple of Vancouver Community College courses. Your blogs on writing have been exceedingly helpful as well. Your insights have been both inspirational and practical. I would like to thank you for that Faye. I am amazed at your talent and perseverance .

    Bryan McIver

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bryan! Thanks for all the kind words. I sure hope you’re thinking of attending the Wine Country Writer’s Festival in Sept 2021…it is virtual and it’s free for all the workshops.

      Will be lots going on. Re: the sub-pub: I think you’re being really realistic and smart. You know a lot of people and have some avenues (and smarts) in marketing. I’d begin that marketing now. Maybe like a soft opening. Get your website together. Maybe start doing a few off the cuff blog posts so people get to know you as Bryan….not just as the politician or the gay guy but as the person. That’s really important.

      And, if you can, get your book professionally edited. It makes so much of a difference.
      Are you planning on writing another one afterwards? You never know, right?

      All the best. Don’t be a stranger. I love comments on my blogs. Makes me think that someone out there is actually reading. lol. xo

      Like

  4. Hi Faye. I have finished my non-fiction manuscript and plan to self-publish. I’m finding out just how much work this is with rewriting, editing, tweaking, and more and more editing, etc. This takes so much hard work, dedication, and not to mention self-discipline, and getting over the self-doubt, that for anyone to sneer down their nose at an indie author is just not cool. I’ve put so much work into this project that I can only give myself credit for what I have done so far and plan to see to the end. You are right, attitudes need to change. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Julie. Congrats on finishing your manuscript. That in itself is HUGE.

      Make sure you work with a good editor. So important. All that work you’ve done is worthy of a professional presentation.

      If you haven’t already, start your marketing. Make sure your web page is all ready and your blog. People want to know you…your personality. Don’t be afraid to share small stories or experiences.

      The whole indie vs trad is tough. It’s like the jock and the spectator. Don’t let anyone speak down to you. One really good person to speak with would be Marilyn Kriete…I’ll introduce you if you don’t know her. She is now marketing her memoir and is doing very well.

      Keep that head held high Julie. I know you’re a wonderful writer. Thanks for commenting. Always appreciate visitors. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, here’s a hot topic. In one way, we’re lucky: The book publishing business is in the mist of change. In one way, we’re not so lucky. The book publishing business is in the mist of change. I self-publish. I thought about for a long time, and found no advantages to traditional publishing. However, like you said, our generation has a thing for being able to say, “X-house published my book.” Me, I got over it. And yes, edit, edit, edit before publishing (and then market, market, market). My hope is we survive to see what happens next in the business.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the industry now is like riding a wave of constant change. The largest advantage, I think, to trad pub is the “build-in” support…if that makes sense. But that being said, no one does the work for the author.

      I like your attitude. You chose what’s right for you. Thats’ so important. Keep putting out good product that people want to read and you’ll be a success. Go forth and conquer!
      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. It really is very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Good rant. I have been publishing by a Traditional publishing house and am also self-published. Personally, I like the self-publishing route better. It’s more work, yes, but being in control of all aspects was exciting. I made mistakes, yes, but such is life. Next time will be better. The publishing company who published my first book was indifferent to my book and didn’t include me in the process, including not sending galley proofs, so I lived with their mistakes too. Living with the ones I’d made myself was easier. And then there is the issue of closure. Sending a manuscript out for the inevitable wait, getting a rejection, having to climb back up to the energy level required to find another market to send it to, and sound bright and cheerful in your cover letter, when your mind has already moved on and is light-years away in another project, was too tiring a process to maintain. So, I chose to close, get ‘er done, and move on. It was the best decision for me (may not be for other folks) because since then I’ve written two more novels, (one complete the second under revision). Just some random, late evening Friday thoughts. Cheers Kate

    Virus-free. http://www.avg.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kate! You sound like a friend of mine. He fought that battle of the trad pub and agents etc. and finally pulled it all back and self published. A few years later he rec’d a call from an agent wanting to represent him–very different deal.
      I guess that’s the thing is you need to decide how long to wait and when to pull away and take full control. I so understand what you describe of waiting, disappointment, then waiting again…and your heart is already else where. I’ve reached that at times and wonder then if my work is any good…all the imposter syndrome crap creeps in…ugh. So many things to consider.
      lol…there. I feel better. You did that. Thanks for listening. Cheers on a beautiful Friday afternoon.

      Like

  7. I take issue with people believing all traditionally published books are great quality. They are not. I remember when I was 14, reading a fantasy book and thinking, “I could write a better book then this!” Yes it was a little conceded of me. The point is that the writinf was not that great, the publisher picked it up because they knew the story would sell, and that is it. I have read many indie books that are gorgeously written, but probably wouldnt sell like hot cakes, so no publisher wants them. It’s a hard market. It’s also an unfair market. Labeling each other dose no writer any good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mary Grace. Omg…I so agree with you and believe me it has nothing to do with conceit. I too have read books and thought omg I could do this better. But it’s not the story it’s the lack of attention given the publication. I think indie pubs are catching up with trad pubs and the better they edit and polish the line is even closer. I’ve read some bad trad pubs…actually stopping and checking the publisher and wondering what were they thinking. Labeling is so not worth it. Agreed. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It’s so appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sara! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It is so appreciated. Yes..we **must** remember that different ways work for different people. One is not better than the other! I love supporting writers in their choices. xo

      Like

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