I’m probably going to keep it pretty short this week, as my sister is here so I don’t want to spend too long on the computer. I believe this week’s question lends itself fairly well to that anyway: Vanity publishing? Indie publishing? Self publishing? Traditional publishing? Author publishing? What’s the difference? What do you recommend?
The first point to make is that for several of those, it’s not really like you have that actual option. But let’s go through them in order.
Vanity publishing – I’ve done this for A Shire Romance, because that is fanfiction, and no other type of publishing will let you print fanfiction. I’d recommend it only for that specific purpose – for anything else if you absolutely want it printed, just use self-publishing.
Indie publishing – Can’t say I have any experience with it. I don’t know how you get yourself published through an indie publisher. Is it any easier than traditional publishing? Any insights anyone can offer me on this are appreciated.
Self publishing – Great option if, like me, you are impatient and cannot stomach waiting years and years for that acceptance letter from that big publisher that may or may not ever arrive. You have total control over what you put out, can make it look exactly the way you want, spend as much or as little money on it as you want and still have it available out there. Downsides are that self publishing gets a very bad rap (and often deservedly so) and is dishearteningly prolific, making it very, very difficult to stand out from the rest. The very points I mention above are often what makes a book look cheap, means it’s riddled with spelling errors and/or has a plot like an emmental cheese. If you choose this option, do everything you can to make your book look as professional as possible.
Traditional publishing – Wouldn’t that be nice? But it’s so, so hard to get picked up by a big house. If I were convinced of the quality of my books I might try, but I know there’s no publishing house in the world which would be willing to invest money in my output. I feel like these days this is an option if you’re already moderately successful through the self-pub route and get interest from a big place. Even then, if you’re doing well, why bother? This is not as important a route as it used to be, especially since they don’t do all the advertising and promotion for you, like you might think. By all accounts you still have to do a crapload of advertising by yourself.
Author publishing – I don’t even know what this is?
So, I’d always go with self publishing myself. I’m just too impatient to try the traditional route by sending off sixteen manuscripts and hope that they don’t all ignore you and not even send you a rejection letter.
Original question and answers can be found here on Jay Dee’s blog.