ON WRITING

Remember writing doesn't love you. It doesn't care. Nevertheless, it can behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, pass it on. A. L. Kennedy

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

#IWSG February post - Wake me when I'm famous - self-publishing.

Welcome to my blog for 2019. Hope your holidays were awesome if you had some and that you're all fired up for the new year. Well, one month gone already!


I couldn't find the question for the month when I sat down to write this, or the co-hosts. Now I'll have to do my own thing. I'm off traveling to Vietnam from next week into February, so I've no time to lose.

Thank you to Alex and his team  for the opportunity to post about my insecurities. I'm sure I'm talking about something every writer feels insecure about at least once. You're probably way ahead of me here.

I've been busy writing, editing, getting critiques, edits, re-writing, putting together a nice little pile of titles so when I start publishing I have a backlist in my paranormal series, my Paris novel, some yet-to-be-collated flash fiction...

Image result for self publishing vs traditional publishing 2018 images


I haven't even considered traditional publishing (except for my Paris novel which still languishes with Avon). I've been completely sucked into the self-publishing groups with their positive spin on writing as a business such as Joanna Penn et al. I'm really into research and I'm no longer convinced traditional publishing is the way to go. Or maybe I just can't handle rejection. Feel free to disabuse me if you don't agree. I've read so many pros and cons articles my eyes feel crossed.

But of course, with self-publishing, we sink or swim by our own efforts. Which is where the doubt comes in. What if my story isn't good enough? What if my cover isn't good enough? What if I don't have the puff for constant promotion? What if? What if?

Ah, well, that is the writer's life.

  • How about you? Self-publishing or Traditional? Tell me your opinion/story...


The first WEP challenge for 2019 went live on Feb 1st. Go HERE to sign up for posting around Feb 20th. Flash fiction, non-fiction, photo essays, poetry...to 1,000 words.


Thanks for coming by...




48 comments:

  1. Yep, I've been enticed by self-publishing--as you know. I'd really like to publish this year, but I need to finish what's proving to be a very difficult second book. The third one was a breeze, but this second one is a headache, lol!

    So glad you've been enjoying Vietnam! (I know because I've seen some of your photos)

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    1. We'll get there Lyn. Looking forward to putting our heads together soon.

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  2. Co-hosts and questions should be on the site, my site, and in the newsletter. (Although I was a little slow last month changing the sites.)
    I'd sink, so I'm glad I have a publisher.

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    1. No worries. Just that I needed to preschedule early and they weren't available.

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  3. Since I own a traditional publishing company, I can tell you the biggest plus is clout. Not just in validation, either. A self-pubbed author can't get a review from the big boys like Publishers Weekly or Library Journal, but a publisher can because there's more clout. Same with getting books into bookstores and other outlets, etc.

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    1. All legit arguments Diane. But with Draft2Digital a lot of those things are possible now.

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  4. Have fun in Vietnam. I am already too afraid of the marketing duties of a writer who is traditionally published to try self-publishing. But I'm glad that option is available for anyone who thinks it's the right path. I think you should do what's best for you.

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    1. Marketing is your responsibility even with traditional which is one of the .. why go the trad route then? Apparently they only market their best selling authors...I am open to correction of course.
      Vietnam was awesome.

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  5. I'm one of those hybrids with my toe in both sides of this publishing business.

    I'm loving your Vietnam pictures!

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    1. Vietnam is a photographer's paradise. Thanks for following my journey. Hybrid is good. I'm open. We'll see...

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  6. Have fun in Vietnam. I am all for traditional publishing.

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    1. Vietnam was definitely fun. Good to meet a happy trad pubbed author!

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  7. I've pubbed with both, trad pubbing and self. Since I'm a control freak, I prefer self publishing. Like Diane Wolf said, trad publishers have clout. But they also get most of the money. Probably a fair trade. I had to work just as hard promoting for my trad books as I do for my self pubbed ones. Enjoy Vietnam.

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    1. That last sentence of yours is why I'm going self pub. If you've got to do all the work anyway, why go trad? A lot of successful indie authors have million-dollar clout.

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  8. I hear ya!! I've got a nonfiction Dementia project about ready to go, but I have to make the self-pub or query decision. I'm leaning toward self-pub because I love the control and I do enjoy learning new things - but I'm a bit overwhelmed by it all at the same time!
    Hope Vietnam is glorious!

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    1. Jemi, it doesn't matter if self pub doesn't work for you. You can still send queries. It is overwhelming but I like the control bit.

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  9. I've seen some of your Vietnam pictures. Looks great!

    I like the idea of being a hybrid. It's good to try all options.

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    1. Vietnam is certainly photogenic. I'll explore what works for me, starting with self pub.

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  10. Denise - as an IWSG newcomer I've been surprised by how widespread the Traditional vs Self-publish debate has become. Makes me glad I was so easily discouraged by just a few rejections. Turns out that self-publishing has been everything I was looking for. The stories I tell were never mainstream, so I settled for writing what I wanted and seeing my paperbacks on the shelf.

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    1. Lovely to meet you gilguy. Looks like you're ahead of me here. Do you know about the FB group 20booksto50k? Gold to me.

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    2. And in case you wonder why I didn't visit you all your links can't be reached.

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    3. Thanks for that heads up. Sounds like I need to find a way to reply as "October Years.com.

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  11. When I started writing, I was sure that traditional publishing was the only way. Now, I'm in the opposite camp entirely. I tried traditional publishing and discovered that even when you have a book published by a publisher, it doesn't guarantee sales or recognition. You have to do the hardest part - the promotion - yourself. And they take a good chunk of you money, if you do have sales. On the other hand, self-publishing gives you creative control you never have with a publisher. I'd say now that indie is the way to go.

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    1. I started thinking about self pub when many people told me they had to do all their own promo for less royalties. I thought...not a good idea if you've gotta do all the work anyhow. Joanna Penn convinced me I don't need validation.

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  12. Hope you have a fun trip.

    Both have their perks, but I go with self publish as it is a lot less hassle.

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    1. It seems to have worked for you Pat. To each his own, eh?

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  13. Whichever the route, lots of hard work is involved!

    Trad want authors to jump through hoops, 'write for the market' rather than create a market for the stories. At least that's been my experience.

    Loved your Vietnam photos.

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  14. I'm all for self-publishing. As you know I've gone both routes, and I like the freedom. Failure may be mine, but so will the success. Try both, see what works. For me it's all about education and knowledge, then and only then can you make the 'right' choice. :)
    Happy Trails, Denise!

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  15. If I could find a good publisher willing to publish my novels I would be Happy. To the moon happy. Because it says someone else believes in you. As it is I have self-published two novels so far and i'm just realising that i need to be doing some self-promotion. Now that's the really hard bit.

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  16. Self-pub, though there was a time long ago when I was going to go trad. Had the submission package printed out and in a manila envelope, ready to go. Did some research. Saw the changes in the industry. Saw how much control I could retain over my work and how I was kind of already doing self-pub through sites like FictionPress. Decided not to mail the manuscript. Put a test story up on Kindle and Smashwords. That was back in 2012. It's hard work, but enjoyable. :)

    Good luck on your journey!

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    1. Thanks Amy. We need to enjoy the whole experience.

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  17. Self-pub for me. I like to keep control of my own work, and especially like seeing my own art on the cover, which would pretty much be a non-starter with a trad deal. Yes, it's all down to pros and cons, and deciding which of them are important to you.

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    1. You've made the choice that suits you Ian. Love your artistry.

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  18. I prefer self-publishing.
    I know the big five have a larger reach and more buying power, etc.
    But that can be giving a lot to get a little.
    Or maybe I'm a control freak. LOL.

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    1. I think many of us are control freaks. We want our darlings treated well.

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  19. I think self publishing works for some people, and Trade publishing works for some people. Who knows which is best. If you can handle all the writing, formatting, promotions, etc; then maybe you can make it all work for you.

    Good luck. And have fun in Viet Nam.

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  20. I've been looking into self-publishing myself. Have fun in Vietnam!

    www.ficklemillennial.blogspot.com

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  21. Hi Denise! Hope you're enjoying Vietnam!

    In my opinion, I'd start off with traditional. Once your name is out there, then you already have a strong reader base when you self publish your next project.

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    1. I think that works in reverse too Michael. Trad sometimes offer contracts to successful self pubbers and they usually say no.

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  22. I love the control of being an indie author :-)

    Ronel visiting for Feb's IWSG Day Being an Insecure Writer -- And Happy About It

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  23. I actually think traditional publishing and self-publishing are the same in many ways, except of course with self-publishing you have to do it all (editing, formatting, cover art, etc.) They are similar in the way that the author has to promote and market themselves, even when you traditionally publish. It's not the publisher's job to promote their authors, unless you are with one of the Big 5 and your book makes a splash pre-publication (or you're someone like Nora Roberts). If an author is struggling with a book published traditionally, it'll most likely be the same if that author self-publishes, or even harder.

    There certainly is no right publishing route for every writer. I personally like going the traditional route.

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  24. Hi Denise - I'll go the self-publishing route when the time comes ... easier to adapt and then of course I can be plucked out of the airwaves and hailed as a brilliant newbie ... actually I think I'm happy to be there and out there .. but not flaunted. So glad to read Chrys's comment ... cheers Hilary

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