The ease and accessibility of self-publishing, along with increased profit and artistic control, has created a firestorm in the publishing industry. Writers are flocking to publish their work online and the self-publishing outlets are growing in number, too. At the same time, this opportunity for increased profit and artistic control also brings with it increased work to publish an market, and, in some cases, higher risk.
So let’s take a closer look and see if we can create a bit of clarity. Either way you choose to go, publishing a book takes a lot of work. To obtain a contract with a traditional publisher, you must have an agent, a good agent who believes in you and your work and will shop your book around until they find a publisher for you.
Signing with an agent isn’t like signing with a cell phone carrier. They’re not advertising on every street corner, waiting for you to hire them. In fact, they’re the ones doing the shopping. The number of authors cranking out books is growing and, while there are more agents, too, they’re forced to be more selective. Their job is to choose clients who have the potential to write a string of successful novels. They’re not looking for someone who is dabbling or who seems to have only one book in them or who can’t write.
The enormous and time consuming act of writing a book can seem like an enormous accomplishment. Then the realization hits that your work has just begun.
For many, especially women authors, coaches, consultants, home-makers, and etc., this has been a miracle. In days past, women authors weren’t favored by traditional publishers. Many still claim that there is a glass ceiling in traditional publishing that still exists.
Perhaps, then, the choice isn’t between self-publishing and traditional, but where you think you will be most successful. Try them both. Shop your manuscript around to the agents and, if you get a bite, work with them to submit it to the traditional publishers most suited for your genre. If that doesn’t work out for you, or you don’t enjoy the process, you can always launch your next book through self-publishing.
In either case – the choice is yours!