Growing up I thought there was only one way to be published. You wrote a novel / novella / short story and then you wrote a query letter in an attempt to find an agent and then finally a publishing house willing to take you on. I imagined that I’d have a folder rammed filled with rejection letters as evidence of me being a tiger earning her stripes.
Then three years ago, a new world opened up. Suddenly it was possible to skip all of the in-betweens and get straight to publishing bit. It seemed that with enough tenacity and sacrifice I could hold the future of my writing in the palm of my hands. I could control what I put out, when I put it out and even the cost of the books. I could become a one woman writing enterprise if I dared have the patience and guts to try.
I jumped back and forth between what was right for me three years ago but I didn’t think about it too carefully as I knew I had some years before I thought my writing was to the standard of publishing whether traditionally or on my own. Of course there was still the war that waged between the proponents of self-publishing and the proponents on traditional publishing. There was then, and still now, the feeling that those who self-publish are less talented and less deserving than those who went through the traditional route. There is the misconception that persons turn to self-publishing after all other routes have failed.
I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying my best to come to a conclusion one way or the other. The route I chose to take would determine the direction my writing plans will take next year. I’ve gone through a million pro and cons lists but the decision sprung up more organically than that. This sounds cliché but I woke up a couple mornings ago and I just knew.
I am going to self publish. I realized that I ran away from it mainly because of fear. I wondered if I had what it took to succeed without the backing of a traditional publishing house. However, I realized two things. I intend to practice as a lawyer which makes it necessary or me to be able to work according to my own deadlines. Also, even though I’m still testing this theory, I think I have the ability to write quite a bit of books every year. The freedom to not have to wait for publishing schedules to get them out there is intoxicating.
Now that I’ve finally made my decision I’ve decided to jump right in, throw all caution and fear out and fight for this dream.
Has anyone else been sitting on the fence regarding whether self-publishing or traditional publishing is the best route? I’d love to hear your pros and cons of each.