A question of loyalty

I’ve just finished reading Australian author Graham Storrs’ latest blog post on the pros and cons of self-publishing as opposed to conventional publishing and to what degree frustration can tip some authors towards self publishing.

For many years I was deeply frustrated by the instant rejection slips sent via snail mail and email to my first novel. In fact I endured ten long soul destroying and frustrating years of it before I finally met an editor who believed in what I was doing.

At any point in those ten years was I tempted to go down the self publishing route? No I was not.

These days with the advent of the internet and the plethora of self publishing aids available, I can understand how it seems to be the ‘easy option’ for most first timers. With self publishing you more or less have total control over every aspect of how your book is put together, how it is presented for sale etc, etc. But at what cost to you the author?

If you wish to be taken seriously as a writer, I firmly believe that traditional publishing is still the way to go. I also believe that if you start out in traditional publishing, you should stick with it. Don’t change horses mid race by going behind your publishers back and enter your work into the self publishing world, unless you want to make a load of enemies along the way.

If you want to self publish then do so by all means. Your ‘warts and all’ product will get out there just the same as the professionally polished and presented traditionally published product.

But for every successful J.A.Konrath in the self publishing world, and he is very successful by the way, there are thousands of ‘also ran’s’ with no hope of selling their shoddily prepared product, and who will be lucky to sell many copies beyond their immediate nearest and dearest relatives.

The same can also be said for the traditional publishing world as well in one sense. Your initial sales for that first novel may be low, but at least the product has been professionally produced and marketed and because it has been placed in the marketplace by a traditional publisher, the professional reviewers will at least take a look at it. Can the same be said for the self published product?

The decision is yours to make; no one else can make it for you. To either go down the traditional route or to follow the very expensive self publish route, shelling out endless amounts of money to editors and illustrators and publishing presses that don’t care about the quality of the product they print, is entirely up to you.

I know which route I would choose, do you?

Since I wrote this I now self-publish…

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