The possibilities are enough to make your head spin. And it seems that some of the authors who have done this, have done and are doing very well. There are several very alluring things about the self-publishing prospect. More control over covers. Ultimate control over the price point (my biggest complaint in ebook traditional publishing). Multiple releases within a year. Yes, there are many aspects of self-publishing that call to me in the silence of night, but there are several things that also terrify me into paralysis.
Enter the small press. I've seen several of these cropping up over the past year or so, and many more authors going this route to achieve publication. Again, there is much to be admired. A small team of people helping to edit the book, design the cover, aid in marketing and distribution, though they usually don't have the budget of the bigger, traditional houses. I've heard authors talk of their small presses as "family." I will say that the model of a small press also appeals to me.
Then we hit the traditional publishers, which also range in size from smaller (Flux and Sourcebooks Fire, for example) to larger (Scholastic and Random House). They have multiple imprints, and armies of editors, publicists, marketing managers, sales teams, vice-presidents, and library-education personnel. They have a wider distribution, the power to market your book to the masses, and teams of people to ensure the quality of your work from line level to cover copy to design. But you get virtually no say in the cover design or the price point of your novel, and sometimes you get ignored completely in the marketing arena. You know, little fish in a big pond type of thing.
My point is this: Every option for publishing has it's pros and cons. Every author has his or her reasons for choosing the path they're on. We do not need to stand on our chosen path and point fingers, or gossip, or chuckle (or glare or throw Coke cans) at authors on another path. Each person has a backstory, just like each character we write.
You don't know what an author has done, how many books they've written, how many rejections they've endured, how many edits they've completed. You don't know what, exactly, drove them to their path. And I'm going to be bold and say I don't care.
I don't care if you're self-published, or small press published, or traditionally published. I don't care if you have an agent or not. I just don't care. If you write and produce a book that looks and sounds like something I'll like, I'll probably buy it.
And if you write and produce a book that I read and like, I'll talk about it. Self-published, small press published, or traditionally published. I just don't care.
The bottom line is this: Books should be written and produced as professionally as possible, whether you're doing it yourself, with a small team, or within a large conglomerate.
And we should all be supporting one another no matter which path we're on, because I daresay we're all on the same path. The one that has a book readers can buy, read, and leave a review for at the end of it.
Feel free to disagree, but try to be nice about it, okay? Okay. And...go!
Oh, and make sure you stop by today's SURRENDER blog tour. And you can enter to win your choice of an e-book this week by visiting the stops and leaving comments. So do that!
- Gabbi at Book Breather -- interview