Welcome to Voices of Fiction.
We continue our discussion on publication choice, traditional or self-publication.
Please welcome our authors.
Ellen Spain is a retired Federal Investigator, now turned author, editor, and educator. She is active with EPIC, PennWriters, RWA, SCBWI, and the Pittsburgh East Writers. - Website
Joylene Butler is the author of Dead Witness and Broken But Not Dead. - Website, Blog
Blog, Website, Website
Welcome Authors! It's wonderful to have you back.
What is your publishing method choice: Traditional or Self-Publication? Why?
Ellen Spain - I prefer
to go through a traditional-type publisher, middle-sized if possible since the
large publisher requires going through a literary agent to get to their
submission's editor, which just adds an additional layer of adding more time
and stress to the pot. The publisher must offer me a fair contract,
royalties, quality editors and cover artists, no hidden fees or charges for any
service to publish my book, and maybe an advance. It must maintain a good credible
web site and offer both eBook and print formats and promotional presence for my
book. Those are the reasons why I would only consider the traditional
publishing house for my “Secrets in the Fog" series and other
genre fiction I write in mystery & romance with a flair of the
There is nothing wrong with self-publishing your family's memoirs or that local
history book, but for genre fiction, I would only consider the traditional
publisher. Why not self-publish everything? Writers should not self-edit.
Therefore, add in the expense of paying an editor. Then there is the cost
(one's own time should have a dollar figure) for promotion, getting it onto
Amazon, negotiating the Amazon contract, marketing your book to other book
distributors, setting up your web sites, and more of your time consumed doing
what a traditional publisher does for the writer. This is the time you
could have used to write more books. In the end, that extra percentage was
reduced to basically nothing. Moreover, if the self-published author later
wants to go thru the traditional publishing route, book, very little credit is
given to them if self-edited. There are a lot of credible small traditional
publishers the author can go through, so the traditional publisher just wonders
why that author would go the self-publishing route.
Joylene Butler - I've
been both, self-published and published with two small publishers. I prefer the
onus be on the publisher and not me. It's probably my age, but I found
self-publishing to be stressful, time consuming, expensive, and completely out
of my comfort zone. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said I spent 14 hours
a day for 8 months marketing my first book. I started marketing my second book
three months before its launch.
say you have only 3 months shelf life, so I knew I had to make certain that my
novel was in the top 10 search engines. That its presence was felt long before
it became available. I'm probably like every other author when I say, I just
want to write. The business of networking and marketing is overwhelming. If you
do sign with a publisher, you still have to network, but having the moral and
financial support of a house is very nice thing.
Joy Brooks - Traditional definitely. I think traditional publishing gives you more exposure. It brings in an expert that will edit and fine tune my work. When my books are released, I want them to be the best they can be. It also brings more opportunities with promoting. The more ideas the better.
Bobbi Carducci - I
support both traditional and self-publishing with a few warnings for those
choosing self-publishing the first time out. Traditional
publishers require that the work be free of errors and they have a specific
audience they envision buying your work. They won’t buy it if they don’t
believe they can sell it. They have relationships with distributors, library
buyers, book sellers, and they can offer some help in marketing your book. You
won’t have to pay for any of that. You will be paid for your work, as a
professional should be paid. That’s my case for traditional publishers.
can be a great resource for writers but it can also be a huge disappointment
for many unsuspecting writers. Marketing and distribution is very hard for self-published
writers. Major book stores and libraries are still not accepting work by self-published
authors no matter how well written it is and putting it on Amazon is not going
to result in huge numbers of sales if no one knows about it.
publishing world is changing and some self-published books will sell a lot of
copies, but it’s still very iffy. Add in all the books being self-published
that are full of errors and bad writing and your book could end up drifting in
a polluted sea never to be discovered by the readers you hope to reach.
comes to self-publishing it is critical to make your book as perfect as can be.
If you have a great story well told you would be wise to invest in a line
editor, a concept editor, a cover designer and a publicist. It’s not easy but
it can be done.
done work with both. I am traditionally published in magazines, newspapers,
anthologies. I am published on line and I used a nontraditional publisher for
my book for young readers. I paid a lot of money to have it published.
Money I have not made back even after it earned a GOLD Mom’s Choice Award for
Excellence and was named A Best Dog Book for Young Readers in Cesar’s Way
Magazine, the official publication of The Dog Whisperer and was written
positively about in the Washington Post newspaper.
I go that route? I wanted it done in short amount of time and I was willing to
pay the editor, book designer, and illustrator and I wanted to see how they
process worked. I love the way the book turned out. But, I won’t go that route
again. I’m seeking a traditional publisher for the next book in the
Thank you all for joining us today.
Readers and Authors, feel free to ask questions and leave comments concerning this topic in the comment section below. You may also send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Disclaimer - Bios and photos submitted by authors.)