Looking into the new year just around the corner, we authors have more choices now than even a decade ago. Ten years earlier, "self-published" equated to "vanity press," was much maligned and still involved a physical book, with the author fronting the costs.
Today we have Indie publishing. I so love the new term and all its advantages, plus it involves very little seed money from the author, we can upload e-books in hours and see online in a day. Indie-published. That is the route for me.
Yet, if you deem traditional publishing to be your path, I will support your decision. I still won't follow in your footsteps, but I believe we should do what best fits us, as individuals. And let others do the same.
So while I cheer on my CPs who want to find an agent who finds an editor who offers that publishing contract, I will continue to e-publish my books.
I don't believe traditional publishing is on the way out--they are just revamping. Still, I get more perks when I do-it-myself, so Indie is where I'm staying. And since I do not foresee traditional publishing ever entailing the benefits I already enjoy while Indie-publishing, there is no chance of me crossing over to traditional publishing. My choice. My opinion. If it changes, I'll let you know. But don't wait by the phone--ha!
I maintain total control over my cover.
I maintain total control over my title.
I maintain total control over my name, or whether I should use a pen name.
I maintain total control over my production schedule, as I am a rather prolific author (even with day jobs as needed to pay my bills). No matter how many publishing houses were to produce my books, it would still take a year or so before seeing it in print as per established procedures.
I retain more of the profits, being thirty-five percent on up to seventy percent. From what I've read online, an author going the traditional route nets about eight-to-fifteen percent of total sales. Because they are paying a percentage to their agent and to the publishing house, forever. That the advances are less and now paid out in installments. That the royalties are held up against expected returns. That the royalties are paid bi-annually.
Whereas I pay a one-time flat fee to any freelancer I may hire to do cover art or other services as needed--not a continuing percentage of sales.
Whereas I get monthly royalties paid to me.
Yes, it is a lot of work. I do the Final Edits. I do the copy edit. I create the cover, or hire someone more talented to do it. If I'm doing my own cover, I scan in my artwork, alter it with Gimp 2. It takes hours. I upload my clean manuscript, then spend more hours tweaking the preview so it ends up just right. I write my own synopsis. I decide on my title. I also chose to use my name for both the nonfiction I write as well as my romance novels. Should I determine to go into another genre, I will give some thought to using a pen name.
I take care of my own bookkeeping, copyright applications, publishing needs like software, hardware, business cards. I am truly a one-woman shop. And I love it.
If you are more of the delegating type, you too can still Indie publish, just with more helpers along the way.
Or you may want to wash your hands of the whole glorious and wonderful mess and go the traditional route.
It is totally up to you.
But for me, it is Indie all the way.