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Thread: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

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  1. #11
    Women Rule...Duh cool pop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by vicky271 View Post
    Likewise, if you self-publish now and want to go the traditional route in the future, are you allowed? How much is the initial cost if you want to hire a professional editor, graphics artist for the cover, etc.?
    Course you're allowed to do whatever you want with a book you self-published because you own all the rights and have no one to answer to legally but yourself. So going from self-publishing to trade publishing is no issue (if you can get into trade publishing, it's up to luck, fate and a whole lot of other things out of a writer's control).

    Now going from trade to self-published can be difficult because when you are contracted to a publisher, they hold the rights. Some publishers allow authors to self-publish while publishing books with them but many don't. Some have clauses where you cannot self-publish or write for other publishers while having a contract with them.

    As for how much things cost to self-publish, the price can range from 0 to thousands. Some authors spend nothing to self-publish or a small amount. Some do everything themselves without hiring others and some barter services. Many writers are too broke to pay for a lot of things but they still manage to self-publish. Bartering is popular in the SP community. People trade services to help each other when they can't afford to pay a lot of money for services.

    You definitely don't have to spend thousands to self-publish but some do. It's all based on a person's skill level, what they can or can't do or willing to learn. Many authors can't afford editors so they rely on bartering, editing software, beta readers, and some editors will work with you. Some editors are not very expensive but some can be extremely high. All it takes is becoming more familiar with self-publishing and doing research and things become easier. How much an individual spends on his or her book varies. It depends on what services they need and who they use and the writer's financial situation.

    One thing I would say is don't get into self-publishing thinking that's a way to get to trade publishing. Most authors who self-publish now do it because that's the route they want to take for the long term. Don't think just because you self-publish that your self-published work will have any impact on whether or not you get trade published. Unless your SP book becomes a breakout, 50 Shades of Grey-type hit, you won't be getting offers from agents and publishers just because you put a book out. You will need to write additional work to be trade published and work that route to pursue that method. If your SP book doesn't sell then no one is going to offer you a contract for it.

    It's about what you really want. If your heart is on trade publishing then that's the route you need to pursue from the beginning because it can take YEARS to make a dent in trade publishing IF you actually do. There are no guarantees. Trying to find an agent and publisher is a slow, slow process for most.

    My point is, don't SP thinking it's going to be the gateway to trade publishing. That's not how it works unless your SP book ends up exploding.

    The most important thing you can do is research and learn the industry before even attempting to make a move. Keep asking questions and visit all types of sites. There are many Facebook groups for self-published authors, blogs, and forums like this one and Kboards which is probably the biggest for self-published authors. There are also forums on Reddit. Read and research as much as you can.

    Just my 2 cents (Ex-big-five author turned self-publisher)

    Good luck!
    Last edited by cool pop; 03-14-2018 at 08:20 PM.

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