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Coco82
12-30-2011, 10:16 PM
I was thinking last night about this and had to ask do you think the traditional, print publishing route is still the best way to go about getting published? Considering the options out there like self-publishing and e-publishing is the traditional route still an author's only option especially considering the proliferation of e-readers of late? I know what I'd want but wanted others' opinions as well.

IceCreamEmpress
12-30-2011, 10:23 PM
Large commercial publishers publish ebooks as well as print books, so it's not as if signing with HarperCollins or whoever means you'll miss out on the ereader revolution.

I think that the choice of publisher--whether it's a large trade publisher or a smaller press or a university press or a publisher that focuses on ebooks or self-publishing--depends on the project, its market, and the author's goals for it.

Anne Lyle
12-30-2011, 10:29 PM
Traditional commercial publishing is the best way for some authors and some books, certainly. It's less work and more money upfront, better distribution, more exposure (magazine reviews, etc). I'm more than happy with it, given that none of my self-published friends have earned anything like the money I have had from advances :)

But it's a decision that has to be made on a case-by-case basis. There's no one-size-fits-all solution any more...

Cyia
12-30-2011, 10:36 PM
If you want an advance, then yes, going with a commercial publisher is your best bet. They also provide editing and the cover and all that other "I don't want to think about it" stuff for writers like me who would rather not handle anything other than writing.

If you're ambivalent about an advance, and you have the time and capacity to do the cover and formatting and editing (or know where to go to outsource it), and if you have the time and capacity to handle all of the marketing and promotions, then you might be able to make a go of self-publishing.

If your project is for a niche audience or you're writing to an over-saturated market which commercial editors aren't currently buying, then you might be able to make a go of self-publishing.

Toothpaste
12-30-2011, 10:43 PM
It also depends on the skills of the writer. Believe it or not, not every author out there has amazing marketing savvy and tech experience to self epublish. Sure, I guess you can always hire people to do that for you, but then you also need the funds. (it should also be noted that those who succeed in self publishing do so because they put A LOT of work into it. Case in point the very famous Amanda Hocking, who discusses your initial question here (http://amandahocking.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog.html) - why traditional pubbing? - and talks about how much work she put into her self publishing here (http://amandahocking.blogspot.com/2011/03/some-things-that-need-to-be-said.html))

There are advantages to every form of publishing, and the key is knowing what form suits you as a writer best.

But since you won't often hear the advantages of commercial publishing extolled these days as most people want to put it down in order to build up self publishing, let me share a few pluses:

- an advance (yes you might make a lot self publishing, you might also not, an advance is money an author gets upfront and is always theirs unless they breach contract)
- editing, design, layout, cover art, and ebook formatting for different devices - for free!
- marketing - it might not be posters in the subway, but they at least do the minimum which is including one's book in their catalogue that goes to bookstores, libraries, etc., they take your work to major trade shows, send out review copies - and this is the minimum, most authors I know have had their publisher also arrange interviews with various media, advertise on popular forums that suit the genre of book, and in my case sent me in person to various book festivals, arranged events and panels for me to be a part of.


And while yes the author can always do more marketing himself, the key thing to all of the above is that the author doesn't have to do or pay for any of that stuff. So they are already steps ahead of where someone doing it all on their own would be.

Now there are authors out there who are good at all the above, and would rather do it all themselves and I say that's awesome. But me? I like having someone helping me, for free, and also I like getting paid.

However, all this said, I do have one book that I think would suit self publishing and am seriously contemplating going that route with it, so I'm not against it. I'm a fan of using all possible avenues to help get my work out there as it is suited to each individual book.

kuwisdelu
12-30-2011, 11:42 PM
It depends on genre, too. Some genres you can do well submitting directly to e-publishers. Some you really need to look at the traditional publishers (who typically do both e- and print versions). Look at where authors in your genre who write similar books are publishing.

CrastersBabies
12-31-2011, 03:06 AM
It depends on what you want, I guess? Never done the epublishing or self-publishing route.

I prefer the benefit of agent in place, the printed product, and the marketing. I'm cool on Kindle too, but only with print first. (again, this is my preference.)

The last seminar I attended, an agent said that one of the new hot things (for their agency) was getting a print book out there then epublishing something in another genre to cover both worlds.

Honestly? The next year or two is really going to show us where the world of publishing will be heading. I feel like we're in a weird limbo right now. I'd love to embrace epublished works more, if I felt people cared enough about their work to hire a dang editor. I'm also waiting for ratings systems (like Amazon) to get a more accurate gauge of what's good and what sucks the pie.

When I read statistics that tell me the average self-published book on Kindle gets 40 total sales, I'm inclined to pass.

Jamesaritchie
12-31-2011, 09:02 AM
I was thinking last night about this and had to ask do you think the traditional, print publishing route is still the best way to go about getting published? Considering the options out there like self-publishing and e-publishing is the traditional route still an author's only option especially considering the proliferation of e-readers of late? I know what I'd want but wanted others' opinions as well.

Is the traditional route the best way to get published? No. Is it still the best way to actually gets lots of readers and make lots of money as a published writer? Yes.

Some self-published writers do succeed, but it's still pretty rare, and the sales numbers you see, even when accurate, seldom reflect actual money earned.

And even with e-books, the great majority of sales are still from traditional publishers. Some people buy bestselling writers in print, others prefer their e-books, but both still come through traditional publishers.

Anne Lyle
12-31-2011, 12:54 PM
Some self-published writers do succeed, but it's still pretty rare, and the sales numbers you see, even when accurate, seldom reflect actual money earned.

FWIW, a friend of mine posted her total self-published sales for the year (on a private forum), and admitted that even then, the three-figure sum was only theoretical, because at some online outlets she hadn't exceeded the sales total required for them to make an actual payment.

Yes, it's possible to sell ebooks at a good royalty rate and still not receive any money for them. Ever.

That's happened to me in academic publishing, where sales figures on specialist publications are often very low and so no-one really expects to make a profit, but I'd be very disappointed if the same happened with my fiction.

shaldna
12-31-2011, 01:27 PM
I was thinking last night about this and had to ask do you think the traditional, print publishing route is still the best way to go about getting published?

The question you actually need an answer to is 'Is the traditional route the best way for YOU?'

And that will depend on the individual. Whether you seek a traditional route or choose to self publish, the choice will depened on what is right for you - if you can do it alone, or if you need the support of a house, if you want all the control, if you can market and get your book to readers, if time is a factor for you, if you have a platform and a readership already.

These are all factors that determine which route is 'best' for an individual. But bear in mind that it doesn't have to be an either / or senario - many writers self publish AND traditionally publish.

benbradley
01-01-2012, 09:13 AM
Read ResearchGuy's "The Pursuit of Publishing" in his sig:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6863638&postcount=16
It's a great summary of what's the "best" way of publishing versus what kind of book it is, and what the author's expectations are.

Phaeal
01-03-2012, 07:30 PM
Just a little snarky aside to start 2012 right: I always smile when I hear people ask, "Should I chose traditional publishing?"

Ah, if only it were that easy. In my experience, traditional publishing chooses you, maybe. BIG maybe. ;)