- Self publishing my husband's Riyria Revelations
- Small press publishing 15 titles by Ridan authors
- Traditionally publishing a series with Orbit books (fantasy division of #2 Big Press Hachette)
It seems as though there is a lot of "anti-traditional" sentiment out there these days. I can understand from whence it comes. The industry has a number of problems and challenges including:
- Not enough bandwidth to produce all the good books they are submitted
- Slow moving - typically 12 - 18 months to get a book to market
- Distribution system that results in 50% returns
- Erosion of the Best Seller Lists by low priced indie books
- Authors who don't make enough to "quit their day jobs"
As I wrote in my Write2Publish short - it really depends on what your goals are - if money is your primary motivation - I suggest indie. If recognition is a primary goal - I suggest traditional. Neither goal is better than the other - they are just different.
I totally don't understand the one way or the other mentality. Why can't there be value in both?
Michael is going with Orbit in the hopes of reaching a larger audience. But what about his books not under contract? Well one of several things can happen.
- Orbit doesn't find the next book interesting enough - easy solution - self publish next
- Orbit does a terrible job with Riyria (which I doubt) - easy solution - self publish next
- Orbit does a great job with Riyria, is interested, and willing to a more equitable distribution of ebook royalties - traditionally publish next
- Orbit does a great job with Riyria, is interested, and not willing to a more equitable distribution of ebook royalties - self publish next
Look Mom...options...how is this not a good thing?
Let's say that his next book is not published through Orbit (or any other traditional publisher)...it doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't like them, or they don't like him. It could mean that they didn't agree on terms. There is no good or bad guy in this situation. It just means that there was not a "good fit" as both parties couldn't get what they were looking for out of the deal.
But...so what...Orbit's books will benefit from readers who find Michael's other books first and want to read more. Michael will benefit from people who read Orbit's books and want to read more. It is a symbiotic relationship - a win-win for both parties.
There are a lot of people who are realizing this and I think, ultimately they will have their cake and eat it to. Some examples:
- Bob Mayer - New York Times Best Selling author who has now opened his own indie press similar to what Ridan is doing - hand picking who he thinks will produce.
- Bella Andre - Romance and Erotica writer who has a huge following developed through traditional publishing who is now making huge $$'s self-publishing (NOTE: She is resisting the $0.99 lemming effect and sells well at $2.99, $4.49, $4.99 and $5.99)
- Julianne MacLean - who has traditionally published dozens of books from three different publishers and now has a top Ranked self published book: Color of Heaven
There are many today that say anyone signing a traditional contract is a fool...I think it is as legitimate a strategy to a higher audience as bargain basement discounting. Will it produce more $'s - nope probably not - but is that the only yardstick we are talking about?
I guess my point here is people think hard and long on the decisions between self and traditional and to berate them because they don't make a choice that fits with your goals is wrong. To each his own I say. Live and let live - offer advice sure...heck I offer a lot of advice here. But whatever you choice you make, if it is well informed then I'm confident that it is right for you.