Could I live without a hardcover?

From some of my recent posts, you may have gotten the idea I’d already made the decision to end my quest for traditional publication. Decision making is always a long, complicated process for me. I think I have a few extra convolutions in my brain. Or something.

I read pros and cons. I listen to the experienced. I think and think and think and find myself not much closer to taking a stand than I was at the beginning. I hesitate in a thousand ways. I like to think of this as thorough research. More likely it’s just fear of the unknown.

In my last indie vs. traditional post, I concluded that a book published by one of the big NY publishers carries no guarantee it’s a better book, in any sense, than an indie-pubbed book. Yet the stigma of “lesser quality” still attaches itself to the idea of self-publishing. I confess, I’ve been guilty of that prejudice.

I have another book prejudice. I love hardcovers. If cost were never a factor, they would always be my first choice. Alas. Because I’m on a budget, I’m okay with trade paperbacks (soft-cover.) But I loathe mass-market paperbacks. If I indie-pub, my book won’t be in hardcover. End of dream.

So, let me consider other advantages to having my book traditionally published.

More publicity: Or not. Nowadays no matter how a book is published, for the majority of debut authors most of the task of publicizing it will fall on their shoulders. Still, that Big Publisher’s name does carry some weight. This is almost a draw.

Wider distribution: Yes, for a while. According to the latest I heard, the typical debut author will have a book on the shelves of brick and mortar bookstores for about 2-4 months. After that, it’s reduced to special order status. As an Indie author, I would not get the thrill of walking in B&N and seeing my book on the shelf, though if I choose the right options and self-pub as POD, my book could also be a special order by those stores. Safer to assume it would sell only online. I’d say the scale tips toward traditional—except I wonder, where do YOU buy most of your books?

More profit: True—if I received a $5,000 advance. Is that likely? I don’t know. I know there are Indie authors who make buckets of money every month, but they are not debut authors, and most of them are non-fiction authors. However, my self-pubbed novel might sell quite well. Or not.  Even if I received only a $2,000 advance from a traditional publisher, I might come out ahead profit wise. Toss up.

Those are all logical considerations. However, as a writer—as a person—I’m not always logical. To be honest, “always” is probably stretching it. I feel more than I think. So, what are my feelings? *sigh* I’m still working on that.

Your turn: I know some of you have already made the decision to become Indie authors. What was your deciding factor?


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54 thoughts on “Could I live without a hardcover?

  1. Hi Linda, It’s been awhile, I’ve been terribly busy, but I’m still reading your blog..:)

    For myself, I never considered going Indie. Some of the self-pub books I’ve read just haven’t done it for me( nor some of the traditional for that matter.) Often times, people don’t want to work at their craft to prefect it, they make many mistakes in their writing and then before you know it, they’ve gone off had had their book published. Sounds impressive to some, but is it really? I know this is not the case with you! You’ve worked to get where you are. Writing takes much effort. You’ve polished and smoothed and primped. Some people self -publish the first draft of their novel. They don’t understand.. BUT many are self-publishing wonderfully written books—- great writing, great story. I know one lady who self-published her first novel but now has a contract with a traditional publishing company. Maybe her first novel will get picked up by her publishing company later, who know?

    If you self-publish you’ll be promoting your book just as much as you would with a traditional publisher. I think you’d do well in that area! Having a publishers isn’t necessarily all roses, either. Sometimes, you end up feeling a bit insignificant and lost in the shuffle. You are one of many.

    A big decision, one I don’t envy. I’ll be anxious to see what your decision will be.

    Like

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