My personal challenge for 2014 (challenges are on-going; resolutions are temporary) is to learn whether an author can do better through self-publishing (s/p) or by being traditionally published (t/p). So I'm conducting an experiment in publishing models. If you've ever wondered which route to take, t/p or s/p,follow my journey this year, and we'll find out together.
I intend to compare the two models on timing, personal satisfaction, and financial gain. I considered adding stress (= effort + frustration), but I think the stress (e+f) of finding an agent or publisher has been about equal, for me, to the stress of being responsible for everything.
I have done my best to make the odds equal, by maximizing the benefits each model has to offer, but of course there are huge variables and I am only a sample of one. That said, here are my methods:
Part I of my Science Fiction novel, Walls of Wind, will go up today on Amazon as an e-book. Parts II and III will follow at monthly intervals. CreateSpace will offer POD copies for those who prefer print books, when the trilogy is completed. Halfway through the year, after I've taken advantage of Amazon's exclusivity marketing methods, I'll upload the trilogy to other online platforms: B & N, Apple, Kobo, etc. I'll also have 150 printed for my sales and promotion.
I had a professional editor do the line-editing and hired ExpertSubjects to provide professional covers for each e-book and convert the files into e-Pub and e-Mobi. These things would be handled by professionals in a traditional model, so I am equalizing the comparison.
Personal Satisfaction: I love my agent, Carrie Pestritto, we work well together. William, Marija and Patrick at Expert Subjects have also all been great. At this point, it's pretty much equal.
Financial Gain: At this point it has all been losses. The conferences to pitch to agents and publishers were WAY more expensive than the price Expert Subjects is charging. However, the writing, marketing and s/p workshops at the conferences, and the friends I made (also good contacts, but I think of them as friends), will equally benefit both models. I think I'll call it a draw.
Despite the many variables, there are enough similarities to make this, for me, a viable experiment. Same author, same quality of writing, same professional product in cover, editing & formatting. I look forward to seeing who wins, and will keep you updated as I go along.
Meanwhile, what are your thoughts or experiences with these two models of publishing?