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Ditching Your Traditional Publisher?

SWITCHING FROM TRADITIONAL to Self-Publishing? Why would anyone do that, you ask? Well, as hard as it is to believe, more than a few authors are ditching their publisher and either completely self publishing their books, or partner publishing with someone experienced and savvy about marketing and publicity. Since getting that ‘Yes, we want to publish your book!’ letter is what most writers dream of, it seems counter intuitive to go backwards. For years, self-publishing was called ‘vanity publishing’ and there are still some of those out there, but there are a ton of Indie authors doing just as well on their own as they would being ‘published’ by someone else.

For one thing, not all publishers are equal. Many do nothing more than flow your book into print and eBook formats, no quality check or proofing of any kind, and offer no marketing or publicity support. Most often it’s because they can’t. They are not experienced, traditional publishers with media contacts to get your book reviewed, arrange book tours, or get you radio, TV, or magazine interviews.

Maybe you were new when you started out and didn’t know what you needed. Maybe you’re really tech savvy and realize learning the self publishing and graphics software would be a piece of cake for you. Maybe you meet a dynamite publicist at a writers’ conference and would rather pay them to help get your book on the map than give away a large chunk of your royalties to your traditional publisher.

The reasons are many, but if you are considering this option, do your homework first! First, understand your current contract. Second, analyze your reasons for wanting to strike out on your own. Take an honest look at your resources: Time, Money, and Skills. Do you have what it takes to go it alone? Maybe you find that you’re doing most of the work anyway, so you might as well keep the profits. But make sure you thoroughly understand the market, the software options, and the time and/or money you have to dedicate to the necessary tasks to bring your book to a wider readership.

There’s a ton of information on this topic, but this article by Victoria Strauss of SFWA to be a great place to start. Whatever way you decide to go, make it an informed decision and then, get back to writing!

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