As a new author, one of the early decisions you have to make is whether you are going to submit your book to a publishing company or be an Indie author and self-publish. To provide advice on that topic since I have zero, I asked two authors, both of which have published a book recently (like last week recently) for their takes on the matter.
Ahyiana Angel (www.lifeaccordingtoher.com) recently published her debut novel, Preseason Love, with publishing company Strebor Books which is owned by New York Times best-selling author Zane.
What factors did you consider when deciding to use a publishing company vs. being an indie author?
Being a first time author, I felt as though I needed to at least try to secure a deal with a major publisher. I figured that if I tried and it did not result in a success, at least I would know for sure that it was not an option. If I had never tried to be a traditionally published author then the “what if” question may have always nagged me. Although, now there are many options when publishing a book, there is still a perceived credibility that comes along with being traditionally published. I felt that was important on my first project to establish myself.
Zane is a big deal! Being a new author, how did you get her to take a chance on you?
I did my research. I made sure that when I approached Strebor Books (her publishing company) with my project that I was completely and one hundred percent ready. When you are pitching yourself or your work to someone, you only have one opportunity to be considered. Preparedness and opportunity can
equal a beautiful outcome.
What benefits have you found that come along with having a publishing group?
The number one benefit is the name recognition of the publishing company. You can use their name to your benefit. Make it work for you and use it to open doors. Another benefit is having the opportunity to get an inside look at how a book goes through the publishing process. You may not be privy to every single detail but it is important to understand the life cycle of your book.
What disadvantages are there to working with a publishing group?
All of the other authors. There are so many authors on the roster that it may be a challenge to get answers quickly. You will also have to share the talents of the designated publicist, which means that you will essentially end up doing much of your own PR and marketing.
Any advice for those wanting to submit to a publisher?
Get your work edited by a professional. Just as with the music industry, companies are looking for a finished product that they can package and sell right away. Lastly, once again, do your research. You will thank yourself later.
Christina C Jones (www.beingmrsjones.com) recently self-published her 8th novel (7th of this year), Didn't Mean To Love You.
What factors did you consider in making the decision to become an indie author? I just kinda... decided to do it. I had never submitted anything to a publisher before, but I was working on my first book. I ran across an article about self-publishing, so I looked into my options. From there, everything just kinda happened.
What benefits are there to being an indie author vs. an author with a publishing group?
Control is the most important to me. I don't have anyone nitpicking my story, modifying my voice, etc. I choose what I write, when to put it out, how to market, etc. Another benefit is probably income. Royalty structures aren't the same for every publisher, but I can say with confidence that I make a larger royalty per book than a traditionally published author. BUT, I'm sure they sell more books, so that could very well be a wash.
What disadvantages are there to being an indie author?
You do it all yourself, and that can be overwhelming. Editing, formatting, book cover, marketing, you're responsible for all of it, plus writing the book. Sure, you can outsource, but that takes a budget that you may not have when you first start out.
As an indie author, what methods do you use to promote your book?
I'm terrible at promotion, LMBO. I'll post about it on my facebook page, tweet it, blog it, and send a newsletter announcement, but all of that is usually surrounding release day. I need to do better about consistent promotion.
Any advice for those interested in going the indie route?
Do it! But, before you do it, read about it. There is a wealth of information online to assist you with not only writing your book, but polishing it, so that when you put it out there for public consumption, it's the best that it can be. And make friends who are already in the industry. Not so that you have people to beg to buy your book, but so that you expand your network to like-minded peers. This will serve as motivation, give you something to aspire to, and also put you in touch with people who *get* it, when you need to reach out and talk to someone.
*Special thanks to both of these ladies for providing insight on this topic of interest for new authors! You can check out both of their books by clicking the book cover!