Monday, August 25, 2008

The Easy Way?

Sometimes I wonder whether the struggle to get a contract with a traditional publisher is worth the time and effort. The statistics can be discouraging. So, when self-publishers come knocking at my door, it's tempting to take the easy path. But is it really easy?

If I enjoyed regular speaking gigs and people were asking for materials, self-publishing would be a way to get something into their hands quickly. If my book was a family memoir, a fund-raising cookbook, or something else with limited appeal, taking this route might make sense. Since I'm writing a mystery/suspense novel, my book doesn't fall into any of these categories.

What are my motivations for bypassing traditional publishing? Am I tired of the endless edits, conflicting opinions, a thin skin for critiques, or a steep learning curve? Am I looking for a shortcut to see my words in print? One thing I do know. If I'm going to put a book out there, I want it to honor the Lord in every respect no matter how it's published.

While self-publishers tout the advantages of author control over the title, cover, and manuscript, I feel like I'd be trying to go to the Olympics without the benefit of topnotch trainers and coaches. Unless I'm prepared and able to spend big bucks on editing and marketing, my book starts off from a weakened position. Sure, there are the exceptions, but I've run into too many folks discouraged by an inability to sell their books.

Things are changing in the self-publishing industry. Maybe it's easier and less costly than it was a decade ago. The day may come when I take a serious look at self-publishing. Until then, I'll continue seeking a team of professionals to produce my manuscript.


Annie said...

I know authors on both sides of the fence. Honestly, the work to get published traditionally pays off in many ways and earns you the respect of others.

That being said, I think sometimes that publishers, editors, and agents miss some great manuscripts because they are tied down by conventional thinking.

Hang in there!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Annie -

Unfortunately, it costs a great deal to produce a book. Publishers must take that into account or they'd be out of business.

As for authors, it's important to research options and not (cliche alert) jump from the frying pan into the fire. We get impatient at times, and then have to live with the consequences of an impulsive decision.

Susan :)

Anonymous said...

Susan ~ you raise some intereesting points about book publishing. Tomorrow there'll be new post on my other blog dealing with that issue. I hope you can "stop by."

Happy writing~


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathryn -

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy my blog. I post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I'll check out your post tomorrow.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Linda -

Oops! Sorry about calling you Kathryn. I was just reading a post by a friend.


Christina Tarabochia said...

There have been times over the years when Mom and I have said, "Surely it's now as good as we can make it, right?" and been tempted to self-publish.

But guess what? We'd learn something new and change the book greatly! :-)

We now know that we'll never be impartial judges of our work. That's why I need a judge/editor to say it's worth their company's money.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Christina -

I've started this reply 3 times already. What I've discovered is material for a new post and possibly an article. Thanks for triggering the creative juices. LOL!

Thanks for your valuable input.

Susan :)