TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING VS. SELF-PUBLISHING, the title fight on tonight’s card, ladies and gentlemen.
In this corner:
Print’s not dead.
Traditional publishing still exists.
Some authors still have their books edited by fabulously gifted editors, improving the books many times over.
Literary agents still stake clients (sic.), and still make sales to traditional publishers.
Times are tight and most advances are not what they used to be.
The publisher will decide, along with many other things, how much your book will cost.
Unpublished unknowns still have access to all of the above.
And in this corner:
Print’s not dead because we want it to live. It’s still neat.
Traditional publishing still exists but so does the horseshoe crab.
Some authors have the faith to pay, out of pocket, for freelance editors to edit their books. Many, many skip this step and let Aunt Myra edit the text because she went to school back when they still taught grammar. Others aren’t even sure what an editor does or how they do what they do…all part of the magic world whose threshold they once longed to cross.
Literary agents spend their days checking out what’s hot on Wattpad and similar sites and sometimes reach out to these authors and offer to represent them. Some of these authors tell those agents to go lick buffalo balls. Others make minor tweaks to some kickin’ fan fiction under expert editorial guidance and become worldwide phenomena by repackaging sex.
There are no advances as such in self publishing, although some new publishers (including my own newborn company) are primarily there to soothe entry into the twin paradises of document formatting and platform building (a euphemism for shameless, unending, soul-shredding self-aggrandizing online promotion) and are considering or already offering small advances.
You decide how much your book is going to cost (mostly) but ninety-nine cents or even zero cents may just be the sweet-spot.
But there is no one, absolutely no one, anywhere in the world, standing between you and your first book sale. Or your one millionth.
AND THE WINNER IS:
Well, it’s not going to be a thirty-one second Tyson knockout or even a forty minute heavyweight fight. This one’s going to go on for a long time, the tide of battle ebbing back and forth.
HEY, MR. NOT-A-COWBOY, WHERE DO YOU STAND?
Right now, I’m splitting the difference. Since getting my MFA, I’m more committed than ever to having a novel published by one of the houses I’ve esteemed since childhood. (In regard to science fiction, my shelves shine with books I’ve loved from Tor, Baen, DelRey and a few others.) This is not a logic-thing, it’s a me-thing.
But that doesn’t mean I’m a blind fool, which is why I started Puzzled Sphinx Productions, LLC. Because I’m not blind, just puzzled. A wise, puzzled guy. Get it? Working with indie artists, indie filmmakers and other indie writers, the company is already involved with one short film and two new comic books series that will knock everyone’s undergarments askew.
Craig the novelist is happy hiding in a closet with a typewriter. Soffocles, writer of comics scripts, teleplays and screenplays is happy to dive deep into all the diginew.
What about you, fellow writer? Pleased as punch to publish on your own, or planning to pursue more traditional paths? Comments welcome below, and likes are on for comments (and I think I know what that means.)
Ezekiel, introduced by J. Michael Straczynski to Spider-Man’s world to stir up the entire mythology.