Some people work out in a gym. Some people work out at home. Some folks want to power walk with headphones. Some want to sweat to the oldies. Some want the support of a workout buddy or personal trainer. Some want fancy machines and some just want a mat in front of the TV and Jane Fonda leg warmers and a headband (who me?). If you do either of them right, one method isn’t better than the other in terms of quality of the workout.
To me, the where-to-workout conundrum is a little like self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. There isn’t right or wrong. Just like there are diehard gym rats and at-home fitness aficionados, there are writers with their dukes up on both sides of the publishing fence.
My thought, as a gym-goer and someone who wants to be traditionally published, is to do what is right for you that will actually get you the results you want.
For me and my novel — being traditionally published is what will work. Traditional publishers distribute books to the places my readers get books. So, that’s where I want to be — in bookstores, big box stores, online and in libraries. That broad umbrella of women’s fiction Jael McHenry wrote so eloquently of means I’ll need wide distribution to reach a diverse group of consumers.
Another reason I’m opting for traditional publishing? It’s a group effort. Writing is a wonderful yet solitary profession, and with a traditional publisher you benefit from the input of trained professionals when it comes to editorial input, copyediting, marketing, cover design, and sales. Publishers create ARCS and send them out for review, books are eligible for review in the trade publications, and for awards.
All of a sudden (after years of writing and editing) there will be a team behind my book. (note the optimism?)
I’ve been internet-admonished for saying self-publishing isn’t for me. I’ve even felt picked on for coveting inclusion in the publishing machine. I’ve been asked why I feel I need the validation of an agent or publisher to think my book is good enough for a mass readership.
I’ll tell you why. Because very often — these people actually know. And there is no shame in wanting acknowledgement within an established industry. There’s no harm in looking for recognition from stalwart professionals. Don’t self-published authors want the recognition of their peers? Readers? Reviewers? Same difference. (I love that silly saying.) But in my case – for my writing – for this book – for me – it’s this way or the highway or, in writerly terms, it’s this way or it’s going under the mattress.
I admire writers who self-publish with excellence and enthusiasm. I have the same drive, the same dreams, the same raison d’être.
I just want to get there in the way that works for me.
Do you think self-publishing is a good option for women’s fiction? How do YOU want your book published? Classy dissension is welcome. Nastiness is not.