Over at Writer Unboxed, I’ve contributed a post to help authors understand how and when they can transition to traditional publishing from self-publishing. Here’s a brief snippet:
Back in ye olden days of self-publishing (before e-books), the message to authors was simple: Don’t self-publish a book unless you intend to definitively say “no” to traditional publishing for that project. Yes, there was a stigma, and in some ways, it helped authors avoid a mistake or bad investment.
Today, with the overselling of self-publishing, too many authors either:
- Decide they won’t even try to traditionally publish, even if they have a viable commercial project, or
- Assume it’s best to self-publish first, and get an agent or publisher later.
The assumption of #2 is one of the worst in the community right now. As far as #1, some authors end up self-publishing for the instant gratification (we have a serious epidemic of impatience), or to avoid what’s increasingly seen as a long, exhausting, and dumb process of finding an agent or securing book contract (which, of course, offers less profit than self-publishing).
I support entrepreneurial authorship, and authors taking responsibility for their own career success. But I would like to see more authors intelligently and strategically use self-publishing as part of well thought out career goals, rather than as a steppingstone to traditional publishing.
Read my full post: How to Secure a Traditional Book Deal By Self-Publishing.