After studying all the possibilities within your reach, you probably still feel like you have no idea what to do with your manuscript. You are not sure how to choose the publishing method that really fits you and your work.
That’s completely normal and you are not alone. It’s a tough decision with no right answer but there are some topics you should think about that might help you make that choice.
When you are an author, you’d like other people to recognize you as such. It’s actually your right, but that doesn’t always happen.
Writing is not the kind of job that makes it easy for you, and the way you publish might help or harm your image. The truth is, there are still many people who will not consider you a “real author” if you go with self-publishing.
Sometimes, even the authors themselves have these kinds of thoughts. So you must think about how each option would make you feel about yourself. You need to feel confident in order to give it your best while writing. From where I’m standing, this is crucial.
Let’s face it: self-publishing is hard. You must have the kind of personality, full of willpower and entrepreneurial spirit in order to succeed at it. You’ll probably need to hire some professionals to help you, and still do a lot of the work yourself. If you are not that kind of person, you should consider having a publisher to see your work forward.
Pressure might be good or bad depending on the circumstances and the way you deal with it. Having a publisher that gives you deadlines might help avoid procrastination. On the other hand, you may feel blocked by the pressure that builds up.
If you like to have more control over your schedule, the design of the book, etc, a big publisher might not be the best option for you.
The rhythm of production
How productive are you? How many books do you write in a year? How regularly do you want to publish?
These are very important questions. Self-publishing authors recommend that you publish at least 3 or 4 books a year. However, in the case of traditional publishers, they will not let you do that. According to them, you’d be adding unnecessary competition to your work, since you’d be competing with yourself.
Again, with self-publishing, you have a lot of work and most writers “just want to write”.
Well, let me start by telling you this: those are unrealistic expectations. You’ll never be just writing since there is a lot of work to do other than the writing itself. It will, however, be significantly reduced, if you choose the option of a traditional publisher.
You know yourself better than anyone else. Follow what feels best for you.
This might be a major problem for any author and raises bigger questions. So, first of all, let’s face it: you’re gonna be doing it anyway, so it’s better to be thinking about it from the very beginning. The publisher will help you when your book is doing well already, but in the beginning, marketing will mostly be your responsibility.
The Indie author has more profits from each book, so this is probably an advantage. This sounds weird, right? The publishing business is never to help the author. There are many valid reasons to find a good publisher, but if you go there for the money, then you’ll be disappointed.
Royalties are paid every 6 months (sometimes once a year), and most of the time you don’t have any. Publisher expenses cut the check and usually, a publisher just pays you when you reach a certain threshold. This way, probably, all you spend in marketing is gone.
Self-published authors lose a lot of money too, but if you sell a single book, you’ll receive the value for it.
In any case, marketing is always the worst part of the process, you really need to believe in yourself, your work and its quality. A little bit of luck will likely prove critical as well.