Staying in Neutral

In the war of Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing, I have remained neutral. I have played both sides of the field, exploring both avenues. For my current life situation, it just makes the most sense for right now.

I will admit to leaning strongly one way or the other on occasion, with no favoritism for either side. These moments of leaning come based on small things I notice or, quite honestly, any news that may pop up in my inbox.

The differences between the two sides are clear and, thanks to hundreds of boastful and bemoaning authors on both sides, well documented. While I am neither boastful or bitter about either side (yet), there are some key things I have noticed that have temporarily swayed me.

Exhibit A (in favor of traditional publishing): The Gurus Who Don’t Take Their Own Advice: Nothing irritates me more than a self-published author that sells self-publishing hard, basically saying that pursuit of traditional means is stupid. What further irritates me is when these authors give you “helpful tips” on how to make the most of self-publishing and then don’t follow the formula themselves.

I am not one for slinging mud, so I will not name names. But recently, I read a book by such an author…an author that says paying for a professional editor is worth your time…only to find over a dozen typos. One of these typos was glaring and slap dab in the middle of an intense scene.

Meanwhile, I can’t remember the last time I read a traditionally published book from a large NY publisher that had such glaring errors in it.

The book in question was formatted pristinely and had a gorgeous cover and, truth be told, the story was amazing (well, the first 75% of it anyway). But the glaring typos from a leading self published author that preaches about professional editing irritated the hell out of me.

Exhibit B (slightly in favor of self publishing): The Time Factor: Last December, I sent off a novel for agency consideration. It was a faith-based novel, the one I spent most of last year and portions of the year before working on. By mid-January, I had one agency very interested in the book. We went through two rounds of edits and it is currently being read by another agent within that agency. That’s a  four-month span.

In those four months, I wrote and sent in  my Dead Man book for 47 North. Edits and cover art were also handled. It will be released next month. I have also written about 60,000 words of material for other books, one of which  hope to publish to KDP by the end of May.

As you can see, the time factor is pretty different here. And for a writer with no patience, self-publishing wins hands down here.

Exhibit C (split right down the middle): We All Really Have the Same Intent: Please note that my story about the 4 months of waiting on an agency is not in any way a complaint. The editorial detail and interest they have shown in the book has been amazing and I have learned more about my own writing during edits than I ever thought possible. While patience is often a struggle of mine, I would not alter anything about the experience.

Although, I must say that my experience with writing Streets of Blood (my Dead Man book) was equally awesome. The insights and sense of teamwork among myself, Lee, and William were both fun and educational. They showed no less interest in Streets of Blood than the agency did with my faith-based book.

I basically saw that both worlds are essentially the same in their interests and attention to the author. Sure, I am aware that I may simply be having a great agency experience (I have heard some horror stories) but as of now, I remain neutral on the battlefield based on these two occasions.

Anyone have any evidence that might jar me out of neutral?


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