Blogging Contest · NaNoWriMo

#7 Self Publishing Or Publishing Contract?

Image attributed to InfoGibraltar via Wikimedia Commons.

One of the things that I love about Kristen Lamb, is that for as much as she supports a self published writer, she doesn’t knock those who prefer to go the more traditional route.

I think I’ve used up my trust-me tokens on financial investments. “Trust me, spending my last semester at Cambridge, England will make me a better teacher.” Well, that part was actually true until my (then unknown) gluten allergy caused my anxiety and depression to “flare” so badly that I had to resign. But England was a big investment.

And so would it be to self publish.

I hate red tape and “dry thinking.” I’d rather just be creative and write the book. But for the purposes of this post I decided to look into it. It’s probably good for me anyway.

I found this article on Bloomberg about the real cost of self-publishing. And already I’m not liking this. So, let’s pretend that I’ve decided to self publish The Stone of Kings (instead of what I really did, and send it to my publisher.) The first thing the Bloomberg article says that I need is an editor and I’ll go with the $3.50 charge per page. I’m assuming that the pages must be double spaced, since that what I had to do when I submitted it to Astraea Press. Okay, 296 pages at $3.50 per page comes to $1,036.

Can you see that conversation with your hardworking spouse on a single family income? Yeah, I can’t either.

Well, that just made this post easier to write. After editing, I still need cover art, printing, software purchase, and ISBN number. I’m not sure I would do the rest of what is suggested. I’ve got the WANA Way for that 😀

I’m happy with Astraea Press. So long as they like what I’ve got, I don’t have to pay anything. I get full say in the cover art and editing process. I’d rather give them part of the sales later than do all the dry stuff myself first.

[This post was written as a part of the NaNoWriMo Pre-game Kick Off over at Jessica Schmeidler’s blog.]

NaNo word count: 6620

9 thoughts on “#7 Self Publishing Or Publishing Contract?

  1. Yes, the set-up costs are the major reason why I’m not too excited about self-publishing, too. And if you’re happy with your publisher, why switch? Good luck with Nano – sounds like you’re keeping up!

    1. Thanks Patricia! I’m plugging away at NaNo. I’m probably doing just fine, but I would have liked to be ahead of my goals for longer than day 1, lol. Life happens. 🙂

  2. I’m a little high maintenance. Or maybe neurotic. If I submit a manuscript and don’t hear “right back” from my publisher (so subjective, I know!!), I think, “Oh no. This is gonna be the one they reject. It’s such a good story, though. Now what will I do?” So I’ve looked into self-publishing more than once. When I start to investigate the options, I tell myself, “I can do this! I can do this!” I find editors (and the prices for a good one), I consider pictures for cover art, I tug at all the loose strings I find online. Within a day or two, my “I can do this!” turns into a “Please don’t let them reject this!” I admire everyone who self-publishes, but to me the concept is terrifying. I tell myself that I’m going to try it one day, and I’ve been told it’s smart business to both self-publish and go with a publisher — to diversify. For now, though, I’m in Patricia’s camp. If you’re happy, why switch? 😉

    1. He he, you sound like me when I submitted The Stone of Kings. But I only looked into self publishing because of this post topic. When I saw the numbers, I really got nervous because there’s no way I can swing them right now. It makes the contract signing happy dance that much more fun!

  3. That’s why I try to get my clients to go the traditional route. Most people who come to me are in the process of self-publishing (so they need an editor or their cover designed). There is so much information out there knocking traditional publishers for their cut into royalties that many new authors don’t even look at them as an economically sound option. If they were to stop and look into the costs as you have, they’d find the reason traditional publishers take so much–it costs so much!

    The only part about your self-publishing discussion I would disagree with is printing costs. Most self-publishers either choose to solely publish digitally or they add on POD, as well. Purchasing your own books to try to have a local bookstore sell is just seems impractical to me.

    Also, the EFA stays that the universal understanding of “one page” is 250 words. Which is why I recommend finding an editor who charges by the hour, not by the page. Most editors can handle 5 to 10 pages an hour (12 pt, Times New Roman pages).

    The cost of self-publishing is entirely dependent upon how much of the process you can do yourself. For some of us, that makes self-publishing free, for others it can climb into the thousands.

    I actually just wrote a blog post up about this, too. So I’m a little fired up about it.

    I think all writers should try at least three traditional publishers before they give up and go the self-publish route. It can be a great ROI, but for many it’s just a vanity thing. They get to say they “published” a book. When you send the link to family and friends, no one asks you, “Now did you publish that yourself?”

    1. I must say, that it is nice to say, “You can find me on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.” 😉 I don’t have any experience with printing yet. Harp Lessons didn’t meet the word count threshold for printing. That should be a new learning process for The Stone of Kings because it’s plenty long enough. 🙂

      1. I think what probably feels even better is when people can go in and find you IN those stores. 75% of readers still prefer print. (Including yours truly.)

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