LTN008 – Writer to Writer: Traditional or Indie Publishing?

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In this episode I explore the difference between traditional and indie publishing for the novel writer. Which is best for you?

After listening to this episode, please scroll down and leave a comment. Traditional or Indie? Having done both I can offer valuable advice to help you publish your story. Your responses will help me plan upcoming Let’s Talk Novel episodes.

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  1. I’m considering indie publishing because my pre-Colombian historical novel, though loved by about six editors, has been rejected by the houses because the protagonist is not a Christian by the end of the book. (That happens in future generations in the next one, in a series of three.) So I’m at a decision point — to keep knocking on traditional doors because things are changing, or go ahead and self-publish. If I decide on the later, then I’m faced with the quandary of which one. I’ve been in conversation with WestBow Press. They take a much bigger slice of the pie. Is there anything to be gained by going with them, in terms of acceptance?

    • Not all publishers are created equal. When looking at a publisher you have to weigh their strengths and weaknesses while at the same time factoring in your needs and expectations as an author. For example, you might go with a big publisher for less royalties if they can get your book out to more markets than a smaller publisher. Or you might go with a small publisher because you’d get more personalized attention from the editors. You mentioned the only constant in equation: things are always changing.

  2. Hello! Let me start by saying that I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time. Your American Family Portrait series was the first ‘adult’ books I read, and I loved them! I’ve been writing short stories, novellas, and a few novels for a long time, and I’ve always wanted to eventually have them published. I took lots of classes, read lots of books, and have been looking at all that goes into getting traditionally published. Recently, I’ve looked into self-publishing, as a few of my friends have done so themselves. I have to say, you explained the difference of the two the best that I have ever heard. For me, after all I have heard, I want to self-publish. It feels like there’s a bit more freedom with it, and you can reach the audience directly, rather than going through many critics.

    • Karen – Thanks for the kind words regarding The American Family Portrait series! And congratulations on your writing! I agree, self-publishing has some definite pluses, and one of the biggest is time. When I work with traditional publishers it is not uncommon for the book to be released one to one and half years after I submitted the manuscript. With self-publishing, I can have the book out with a month, maybe two, once the manuscript is completed, depending on my proofreaders. And your only critics are your readers! Nice. Let me know how I can help you along the journey.

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