From bestselling author Robert Bidinotto:
So, let’s assume you’re a writer contemplating publication. You’re agonizing over whether to follow the traditional publishing path, or whether to take the plunge and self-publish. Okay, maybe you’ve long dreamed of winning validation from the publishing establishment—of earning acceptance from a New York agent and a venerable publisher—of seeing your book stacked in pyramids on bookstore tables—of the NYT #1 spot, and awards, and a reality show, and, gosh, maybe the cover of the Rolling Stone…
How could self-publishing possibly compete with that?
. . . .
1. Nobody Can Stop You from Publishing Your Book. Along the path to a legacy book contract you’ll be confronted by hordes of gatekeepers: literary agents, acquisition editors, editorial committees, bean counters, and publishing-house CEOs, all answering to the international conglomerates that actually own most major “American” publishers. Odds have become vanishingly small that you can run this gauntlet without being stopped dead in your tracks by a rejection letter.
You see, rather than gamble on fresh, challenging works by unknown writers, publishers prefer to play it safe. They invest mainly in the few established, best-selling authors, and they exploit trendy fads by releasing formulaic knock-offs of past bestsellers. So after Thomas Harris we were fed countless serial-killer tales. John Grisham’s success launched the “legal thriller” subgenre; Tom Clancy inspired armies of “techno-thriller” clones; Stephanie Meyer gave birth to legions of vampires. Now, E.L. James is making adult porn—oops, “erotica”—the literary dalliance du jour.
. . . .
5. You Can Publish Your Book Incredibly Fast. One of the worst things about legacy publishing is that it takesforever to get a manuscript published.
Most publishers insist that you submit your manuscript through a literary agent. It can take months of query letters to enlist one. Then you’ll wait days or weeks to sign a contract with her. Then more weeks working together to hone an acceptable “pitch” that she’ll send to publishers. Maybe she’ll also want you to rewrite some of your book.
Next come months—maybe a year or more—of submissions to publishers. In the increasingly unlikely event that your agent corrals an interested publisher, weeks of contract negotiations follow. The publisher may insist on more rewrites and editing. Then the book goes onto their publishing schedule. Due to long lead times, it will be another year, eighteen months, or even longer before the book rolls off the presses.
So if you’re really, really lucky, you’re looking at a minimum of about two years from the time you query agents till you see your baby sitting on bookstore shelves.
But by “going indie,” you can squeeze that publishing process into a few weeks.As I described in my previous post, it took just 17 days from the time I finished HUNTER until it was available for sale online. It took only three more weeks until the print edition went on sale.
Had I gone the traditional route, I’d still be looking at another two years, minimum, to see HUNTER published. I would have wasted all that time—and lost all the income that my bestseller generated during this past year.
Link to the rest at PJ Lifestyle