Your Writing Career; Which Path Should You Choose? Part One – Traditional.
July 23, 2012 1 Comment
For a new writer, the decision on which path to follow has to be the most frustrating. Compounding that frustration is the ‘publishing war’. The flame war that’s erupted where you hear how ‘horrible to authors’ Traditional publishing has become, or how un-professional self-publishing is. Personally, I feel all this negativity is a pile of bullshit. There’s no ‘one’ right path for everyone. It’s your career, so don’t let other people tell you how to do it.
There are pros and cons to each one, so you need to understand what you’re getting into before you start. The first thing you have to determine is what you want out of your career and how much time you’re willing to spend achieving that goal.
If you want to go Traditional, you will need an agent. As far as I’ve come to understand, none of the Big Six will look at an unsolicited manuscript. You have a better chance of it getting seen with an agent. Research the genre of your novel. Do you think you have a novel that will do well within that genre? Many writer friends of mine do quite well through Traditional Publishing, but it has to be the right book match. You MUST have what they’re looking for, otherwise you run the risk of receiving they’re lovely form rejection.
Pro- With Traditional Publishing, everything is done for you. You have editors look over your work, cover art is created for you and your book is formatted for ebooks. They also take care of a great deal of marketing and promotion as well. ARC’s are sent out to reviewers and paid for by the publishing house, and your book is placed in top spots for a certain amount of weeks in all the book stores. Mind you, the treatment you receive depends on how much the publishing house loves your work or how much they paid to get it out. Remember, this is a business first and foremost.
Con-Not all publishing houses give their new authors the same treatment, and yes, the more ‘established’ authors will get top billing. I’ve read blogs by mid-list authors who were dropped by their publishing house when their books did poorly, and I’ve heard a few stories of new authors who were picked up, but somewhere down the line, their novel was dropped for one reason or another. You might have some say in to how your cover art will look, but as to a final say, l don’t think so. We all know the cover is what attracts readers to your book, so if the cover is lackluster and sales of your book aren’t’ any better, who takes the brunt of the fallout? The author.
If your book is dropped for one reason or another and agent cannot sell it to another publishing house, there’s a good chance you may end up parting ways with your agent as well. I’ve heard of this happening.
IMO-Traditional Publishing is the Gold Ring; the thing every writer dreams about, but there are huge risks involved and little control over what happens to your work.
Are you a Traditionally Published author? What good/bad experiences have you heard/encountered?