Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trotting out that old pony, again

Once again I’m thinking about self-pubbing vs. traditional publishing. Because, yes, face it, self-published authors, once they’re established, have the potential to earn oodles more money than traditionally published authors. Or so it seems if certain sources are to believed.

But I’m scared to do it. Really. Even though Smashwords makes it ridiculously easy to put material out there, I’m not entirely certain I want to do that. At least not yet. Granted, I’m happy to put out my short stories in that manner. After all, the paying market for short stories isn’t worth it when I consider the amount of effort that goes into the submissions process.

Making my short stories freely available to my readers makes sense. They’re already following me on Twitter or Facebook because they **want** to read my writing. That way my short stories also don’t get lost in anthologies or buried deep in links with online magazines.

My longer works?

Why I keep working through reputable small presses is because a) I don’t have to worry about cover art; b) I have an editor assigned to me (face it, mistakes always creep through, it helps to have a second set of eyes); and c) I don’t have to worry about dealing with vendors.

But… What I will do one day when my first rights revert to me (usually after three to five years) is I’ll start putting my back list upon Smashwords. Now that makes sense. It means I’ll be able to revise and apply a lot of the new tricks I’ve learnt to older works that have already undergone an editing process. I’ll be able to choose my own cover art. It means my older works will be archived under a unified banner.

Yes. I think that is what I’ll do.

Granted, there are works that may be difficult to home some time in the future. Self-publishing will offer me the chance to put them out. This is only after careful consideration, however. My feelings are that if a novel has been rejected countless times, even by the small presses, there’s usually a very good reason for this.

And yes, you know what, no matter what people say, I’m still aiming for that Holy Grail of a book contract with one of the Big Six. What’s nice about publishing now is that authors have a lot more freedom. There’s no such thing as “out of print”.

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Carrie said...

You'll do well. Exposure is key. And your friend. <3

Stephanie said...

I am with Lyrical Press, a small primarily digital publisher and I adore them, but I still strive for the big time too. Not sure what I'll do when my contracts are up.

I think you have a great plan though. I have never self-published anything, and after the extensive editing process I've gone through with Lyrical, I don't think I ever will. At this point, I cannot afford to pay a professional editor to go over my work with me and there is no way I could ever publish my work without using one. My books would not be what they are without the help of an editor.

How short are your short stories?? Lyrical publishes lengths of 15,000 and up...I have two short works coming out this year.

Nerine Dorman said...

I suppose I do have an advantage. I'm at present employed as a sub-editor at a newspaper publisher and I am under contract (surprise-surprise) as a content editor with Lyrical Press **wink**

But ja... no matter how careful I am, mistakes do creep through. I'm just lucky I have a great crew of betas to help me.