Which to Choose: Big Name Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing?


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“Which to Choose: Big Name Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing?” by Joan Y. Edwards

Know your options. Study the resources. Ask questions of others in your field. Read the copyright pages of your favorite books to find out who published them.

I can’t tell you which choice is best for you. I wrote, illustrated and self-published Flip Flap Floodle. Instead of a big named publisher, I was lucky enough to have a small reputable publishing company – 4RV Publishing – publish  Joan’s Elder Care Guide. You may find one, too.

Most of the big named publishers stipulate that you must have an agent to submit your work. Some of the big publishers and other not as big, but still dependable and reputable publishers are out there, too. Again, you have to do your research. Choose one that’s right for you and you’re right for them. In the resources, I put a list of publishers and agents who accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Though I can’t tell you which is best for you, I did research to see what other professionals advise. No matter which method you choose, go through the steps outlined in Pub Sub for Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. However,  if you’re self-publishing you’d be choosing a company to self-publish rather than selecting a big name publisher. Study three different self-publishing companies to decide which one is the best for this particular book.

Pub Subbers
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

Everyone is welcome to an opinon, right? Since that’s true, here are my opinions.

Joan’s Top Reasons for Getting a Big Named Traditional Publisher:

  1. They have many customers who are familiar with them and large marketing budgets.
  2. They can afford to pay the book returns for bookstores.
  3. They have access (money) to great cover and inside illustrators.
  4. They have access (money) to pay for good editors.
  5. It may be easier for them to get a book reviewed.

Reasons for Self-Publishing

  1. You’ve tried for at least 5-10 years to get something published without success or you don’t want to wait 3-5 years to get your book launched.
  2. You’ve had your complete book, pitch, query letter, and trailer critiqued and edited by a professional.
  3. You’ve investigated cost, what you get for your money, marketing with different venues for self-publishing. (Read Resource Number #2 and #16)
  4. You have a book launch team – group of at least 25-100 people online and in person who will review your book and help you launch and market it –  to help you spread the word.

But don’t just take my word for it, read at least five of the following articles and five others on your own search.

  1. Brenda Rollins. “The POD Quandary: How to Decide if Print-on-Demand Publishing is Right for You:” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/POD.shtml
  2. First Time Publishers. “Top 10 Self-Publishing Companies.” http://www.firsttimepublishers.com/
  3. Helen Sedwick “Seven Questions to Ask before Choosing a Self-Publishing Company https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/06/7-questions-to-ask-before-choosing-a-self-publishing-company/
  4. Joan Y. Edwards. “22 Literary Agents Who Are Looking for You: https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/22-literary-agents-who-are-looking-for-you/
  5. Joan Y. Edwards. “40 Publishers Who Accepted Unsolicited Manuscripts:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/40-publishers-who-accept-unsolicited-manuscripts/
  6. Moira Allen. “Subsidy Publishing vs. Self-Publishing: What’s the Difference?” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/subsidy.shtml
  7. Moira Allen. “To POD or Not to POD: Some Pros and Cons:” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/PODstats.shtml
  8. Moira Allen. “The Price of Vanity:” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/vanity.shtml
  9. NY Book Editors.”Traditional or Self-Publish: What’s Best for You?” https://nybookeditors.com/2015/11/traditional-or-self-publish-whats-best-for-you/
  10. Page Two Strategies. “Twelve Questions to Ask Before Working with a Publishing Services Company:” http://www.pagetwostrategies.com/twelve-questions-to-ask-before-working-with-a-publishing-services-company/
  11. POD Publioshing. “Ten Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher:” http://www.podpublishing.org/TenQuestions.pdf
  12. Ray Robinson. “Choosing a Self-Publishing Company:” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/dogear.shtml
  13. Sarra Cannon. “Frequently Asked Questions about Self-Publishing: ” http://sarracannon.com/indie-writer-resources/self-pub-guides/frequently-asked-questions-about-self-publishing/
  14. Stephanie Chandleer. “Eight Questions to Ask When Choosing a Custom Publishing Service to Help You Self-Publish Your Books:” http://authoritypublishing.com/book-publishing/8-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-a-custom-publishing-service-to-help-you-self-publish-your-book/
  15. Sue Fagalde Lick. “Ten Questions to Ask Before You Sign that Print-on-Demand Contract:” http://www.writing-world.com/publish/lick.shtml
  16. Top Ten Reviews. “Best Online Book Publishing Companies:” http://www.toptenreviews.com/services/home/best-online-book-publishing-companies/

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

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