By Guest Author
Posted January 15, 2013
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by Joseph Spencer
Traditional publishers and several well-established authors such as Sue Grafton and Jodi Picoult have not minced words when talking about self publishing. They view the recent explosion of self-published authors and independent presses much like a dog views a mailman with a bone hanging out of his pocket.
Self publishing blindsided traditional publishers, and broke up the monopoly of the marketplace they enjoyed for many years. They used to control distribution throughout the United States and all over the world. With a strong base of readers shifting their habits either exclusively or in part to ebooks, writers regained freedom in the distribution chain.
Traditional publishers and agents get angry when you take money out of their pockets, and that’s exactly what the self-publishing boon is doing. Self publishing affords authors the chance to publish their work and make it available cheaply while printing paperback copies on demand without spending thousands of dollars on copies up front.
Here are things to consider if you’re an author and the traditional publishing experience hasn’t been what you expected.
In the traditional publishing world, there’s a gauntlet of people standing in the way of making your publishing dreams happen, and rejection from anyone of them along the way can table your manuscript. Traditional publishers tend to gamble on works similar to what’s hot right now such as Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series or E.L. James’ BDSM erotica. If you fall out of this scope, self publishing gives you a chance to let the marketplace rather than gatekeepers from traditional publishers decide on your success.
It’s all about the money
Authors keep more of the profit with no middlemen like agents and publishing houses taking their cut. It’s not uncommon for authors to receive only 25-40 percent in royalties on their ebooks and print books from traditional publishers. Let’s say your ebook costs $6. After Amazon takes 30 percent, let’s say you get 40 percent of what’s left for your royalty. That would mean you get $1.68 per book. If you self publish, you’d get $4.20 – three times what you’d get from a traditional publisher.
It’s not uncommon for traditional publishers to pay royalties quarterly or even slower. Therefore, authors are left in the lurch for months trying to guess how much of a check they’ll receive. Create Space, Kubit, andKindle Direct Publishing all pay monthly, so your wait to see the fruit of your labor isn’t quite as long.
You pick your timeline
Only you know what best fits in your personal schedule. So, if you want to sync your book’s launch perfectly with your life, self publishing is an easier way to accomplish that. Traditional publishers usually release books quarterly or in accordance with release windows which fall within seasonal shopping habits. There’s nothing like planning a trip well in advance and then having your book release fall smack dab in the middle of the vacation, which either causes you to cancel your plans or puts you behind in book promotion.
When you self publish, you are accepting more of the risk certainly. However, you also can move swiftly to make corrections. You’re in charge of oversight of your work, and can make decisions quickly as to editorial content, design layout, and marketing of the book. During the traditional publishing process, it’s possible for the author’s voice, tone, and creativity to be altered by editors, artists, bean counters and other managerial staff.
Does he stick to the heroic ideals which made him a famed paragon of justice and take down a murderous madman? Or does he give in to his vigilante impulses, avenge his wife’s murder, and become the type of killer he’s hunted for so many years?
Joe Spencer is the author of Grim, a paranormal crime thriller released by Damnation Books in September 2012. It’s the first in the planned Sons of Darkness series. His second book, Wrage, is due out in 2013. He can be reached at www.josephbspencer.com.
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