Publishing…is complicated.

I’ve been doing research into publishing lately, as I’m close to finishing my manuscript. It’s my first novel, so this process is still, well, novel to me. Mainly I’ve been looking at self-publishing vs a traditional publishing house. And holy cats is it confusing.

With traditional publishing I need to…

  • Submit a query letter
  • Land an agent
  • Have said agent land a publishing house

Which doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering how many query letters agents receive each day and how many manuscripts they have to sift through, it’s a daunting task. Landing a publishing house would be great marketing-wise, since they would advertise for it and they have better resources for such things. I would like to (eventually) be recognized, and the traditional route would make this a greater possibility. However, I would lose a lot of freedom (over royalties and some aspects of my books) which I do not like at all.

But with self-publishing I need to…

  • Edit it myself (not a problem, but for some it might be)
  • Either go through a for-profit company (I’m talking to iUniverse right now but I’m not sure I want to go that route, although they have plenty of helpful services) or go through a free online e-book sites like CreateSpace or Amazon Kindle.
  • Market my book by myself (this is my major hang-up–I’m a social-awkward college student; I don’t know how to talk to people! Ahhhh!)

I’m leaning more towards self-publishing, mainly because I can set my own royalties (within reason) and I have more freedom with it. I’m terrified of the marketing part, but I’m hoping that’s mainly common sense. (To be clear, I’m not going to just willy-nilly go off and try to promote my book without doing marketing research first–I’m a little smarter than that). I suppose I could hire someone to do that, but I feel like it wouldn’t be as personal? I don’t know–I’m still sorting these things out. Any suggestions?

But first I have to actually finish my book. Haha. Hahahahahaha. *sob*

Also, I’m considering making my books free-will donation. I don’t want to set a price on them, really–I want people to pay how much they think it’s worth. I’ve just watched Amanda Palmer’s TED talk on the art of asking, you see–if you haven’t seen it yet, you can find it here. Watch it. It’s beautiful.

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Publishing…is complicated.

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