Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The debate has shifted...but still rages on

I've been involved in "indie publishing" now for about 3 years. By indie I mean bringing books to the market without the backing of the traditional industry leaders that rely heavily on a system based on retail store sales.

When I started publishing I always heard, "If you aren't published through a traditional publisher it must be because your books are no good."

What I see now is, "If you are published through a traditional publisher you're a fool because they treat author's poorly, give them only crumbs, and steal as much of the money as possible."

I love J.A. Konrath's blog, A newbie's guide to publishing if you are not reading it - bookmark it now. There was a little "debate" spurred there recently about whether you should self-publish or not based on a contrary opinion posted here by Jude Harden.

As someone with one foot in each door, Michael's about to be picked up by one of the big-six after years of indie published, I want to present a case for both sides. It really is not a matter of right or wrong its a matter of what your goals are.

Self Publishing Pros....
1 - Total control
2 - 100% of profits
3 - Increased time to market
4 - Modest to no start-up costs

Self Publishing Cons....
1 - Perception: There will always be those that say you are there because you "couldn't make it"
2 - Smaller market
3 - Divided time
4 - Must work harder to produce same quality

Traditional Pros
1 - Larger Team with diverse skills
2 - Much larger market penetration
3 - Bookstore presence
4 - Opportunity to "break-out"

Traditional Cons
1 - Lack of control
2 - Long time to market
3 - Smaller piece of the pie

I don't want to enumerate each of these points just now - but will over the course of the next few days...Stay tuned.


Jim Johnson said...

Interesting post. I'll look forward to reading more. I'm also curious to hear more about Michael going with one of the big 6. Will he still be publishing indie work in addition to the traditional work?

Robin Sullivan said...

Not sure yet. Michael has a "finished book" that is literary fiction so his fantasy publisher won't be interested in it - that we'll probably do as self. Though I'll give it to the agent and see if they can shop it while it's out as self ;-)

His next fantasy work, entitled Antithisis - is not in the Riyria Revelation Series - the fantasy publisher want a "look at it" but don't know if a) they'll want it and b) whether we'll want to sell it to them. Alot will depend on how the rollout of Riyria goes.

I'll keep you updated though.