What is your preferred publishing route?

So, what is your preferred method of publishing? Indie? Self? (I’ve only just learned there’s a difference between the two …) Small press? Vanity press? Trad? Other?

For years and years I always thought I wanted to go the trad route with an agent and everything. It feels so official!! Plus I’ve always wanted the advocate that an agent would provide. A guide/mentor in the process.

Nowadays, I’m changing my tune. I’m considering Indie. I’m curious what you’ve chosen, and why? What has been your experience? If you could do something differently, what would it be?

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Hi, I’m hoping to be a self publish one.

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Nice! You commented on another topic about how tightly you outline and plot. I bet you would be great at self-publishing because you seem to have a knack for planning. Which means you would be able to execute a great marketing plan.

Do you like planners? I just got one from Passionate Penny Pincher, and it has really helped with creating a writing routine.

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Well, I LOVE Notebooks. It’s kind of hard to keep up with a planner. And want to know a fact? I might be an outliner when you write, but if u met me in real life, you’ll have to ask me twice if I’m a outliner. I’m a disorganized person, but when I’m writing, I’m organized with notes and my writing.

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I can RELATE!! I may seem like a scatterbrained & distracted person IRL, but I have a planner I use every single day even just for chores. I’m a homeschool mom who also plans out the entire years. Lol!! But with writing it’s different … it’s where I get to just let go and create … Like a literary playground. I’ve tried so hard to do things like the pros in the past and it absolutely takes the fun out of it for me. If I just roll with a writing process I enjoy, it keeps me coming back for more!!

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I intend to self publish. The thought of having to market myself and my work is daunting, but I’ve been working at my writing my MCs blog and he’s my greatest marketing tool. Hopefully when I’m ready to do that I can get that going too. I have lots of non-writing related tasks I need to do but first to finish the rewrite and then I can work on editing and marketing and stuff.

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Whoa, that’s cool. I’ve been homeschooled since 3rd grade and all and it’s cool that being an outliner for writing is cool.

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I plan on self-publishing. I haven’t really looked into Indie publishing. But I’m too impatient to do the major publisher route. Also as a first-time author, I’m not keen on working with a publisher to maybe get my work out there to see if people like it. I also like the idea of maintaining control over my storyline.

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Traditional for non-fiction books with Hachette Book Group. When I finish my fifth with the same publisher I’m jumping to the other side of the world and there I am told agents are more of a requirement for traditional publishers. I’m planning to seek short story publication in small press publications, then with that experience seek an agent and go from there. I don’t think being a “best-selling” author of cookbooks is going to allow me to cut in line for agent consideration. At least that has been the experience of several of my close non-fiction foodie authors now doing the same thing. Thanks for sparking the conversations Natalie.
-Christopher

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Self-published from the start.

9 Books in my first series
3 in the second
1 in the one I need to focus more on, LOL.

It never occurred to me to try the traditional route.

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I am hoping to go the traditional publisher route since I love writing but am stressed about being my own marketing manager. However, I am unpublished still so it is possible that I may give up and self publish. However I live in a rural and underpopulated area so self-marketing and selling locally will be limited for actually getting my work out there.

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I think self publish. There’s a misconception that agents and traditional publishers do all the marketing when publishing, when really, many times new writers signed on by larger publishers still have to do a lot of the marketing themselves, but with more restrictions.
Self publishing gives you more freedom to represent what you want to say with your story rather than what’s hot on the market for mass sales.
‘Self Published with Mass Sales’ I choose you. :wink: )

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I feel like a lot more people are going the self publish route. All these replies are super helpful!

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Indie-/Self-publishing for me. I confess I don’t know the specific difference between self & indie – I have only heard them used interchangably. I have read (and listened to) a lot from Joanna Penn (thecreativepenn,com) and she uses the “indie” term. (Pro tip: if you are interested in indie/self, read her stuff!)

I chose this route because I wanted control. The gatekeepers of the traditional publishing world do keep the quality high, but it doesn’t mean that all quality work gets published. I want the market to decide if I suck or not.

I also love business and figuring out how to become a profitable writer is appealing to me. Finances for traditionally published are opaque from what I hear.

Lastly, I have worked with computers all my life and figuring out software tools is kind of fun. I know, I know…geek. I’ve been told I can be fun at parties, so I must not be completely hopeless… Smile.

If you want to just write and hand it off to someone else to do all the work of editing, formatting, proofing, publishing, advertising, etc., you need to have money to invest or a magic wand regardless of traditional or indie/self publishing.

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I don’t have an agent (nonfiction writer) but I can say after nearly a decade with the same publisher things have changed dramatically in terms of marketing support. I have heard from author friends the same at other publishers. We have to do our own marketing, they print our books and distribute them.

A great free resource is the Authors Guild webinars, which they release to their YouTube channel. There have been some really good ones like a recent panel of self-published authors and how they market on Amazon.

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@Christopher_Shockey sorry for the late reply! I think that’s a genius way to go about it. I read recently that hybrid authors (who publish both trad and self) make the most money than someone who sticks with just trad, or just self. Honestly I would like to try both because I want to experience both!

@Jan_C-O the sad reality about trad publishers is that it’s not likely they’ll put any investment into marketing for you. You’ll be responsible for your marketing no matter which way you publish (unless the publisher deems your book that rare golden egg and decides to invest in marketing it). Ultimately it’s a business, and until your book proves that it will be a good return on their investment, they are hesitant to dump very much into marketing.
I feel like an author doing their own marketing is a good learning process, though. There HAS to be a way to market yourself that isn’t insanely stressful. There has to be a way to organically go about it that fits you as a person, you know? That’s my hope, anyway.

@RhinKelly See, that’s what gets me about trad publishing, too! The restrictions. But in order for your book to get any sales as a self-published book, you have to stand out in the noise, and that’s so hard to do.

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@John_Bredesen Your comment cracked me up about being fun at parties. HA! So, having an interest in figuring out how to become a profitable writer is perfect for indie authors because you have access to all of the data. Trad publishers don’t allow you to see any of the data … you just get your royalty check with no information about which marketing efforts are the ones that paid off in the end.
I do want to work with a professional editor or book coach, because I think it would be fun. I also want to learn the ins and outs of the ENTIRE process, not just the writing part, and in order to do that, you need access to the analytics! I’m familiar with Joanna Penn and think her advice is amazing … as well as Savannah Gilbo if you haven’t checked her out yet. She has a podcast that is amazing!

Just added her to my podcast list. Thanks for the tip!