How to Publish. The decision can drive an author CRAZY.

Recently, I sent out a little tweet with an article attached. My comment was something like: “Interesting article, but I still think qualified small houses are the way to go.”

Someone tweeted me back asking why I thought that, since they were beginning to research the subject.

I thought about explaining in 140 characters or less— but you thought Twitter pitching was hard. Ha!

So, here is the blog post I promised her. I figured there are probably a lot of people out there with their heads spinning. Maybe this will help.

Remember, this is all my opinion after reading tons of articles, other blog posts, and researching the industry in general. Also, everyone is different. What’s right for one person may not be right for another.

(I also admit that my mind changes daily – but I usually return to my final conclusion eventually)

There are more options out there to be published today than ever before. Authors, for the first time, have a heck of a lot of control over making their dreams come true.  They have also never been in such danger of flushing their careers down the toilet.  Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you do it right. No shortcuts.

So, what are our choices? Don’t look anywhere else for all these categories. This is how I look at the industry. There is some overlap, but my nutty brain sees all of these as different in one way or another.

Here are what I look at as the major options available.

  1. Agent/No agent
  2. The Big Six (or five now). (Random House, Harper Collins, Hachette, Simon and Schuster, Penguin, and Macmillan) *And the oodles of imprints below them*
  3. Bigger than you can imagine houses (Like Harlequin – Umm, now part of Harper Collins, come to think of it)
  4. Qualified Small Houses (There is a fine line between #4 and #5)
  5. Up and Coming, Established Houses
  6. Startups
  7. Self-Publishing (And all of the different iterations of self-publishing)

Now, I’m not going to talk about all these in one post, because long posts bore me to tears. I know I don’t have the time to read that much, and I know it’s hard to digest all that at once to. In my next post I’ll talk about agents, and we’ll take it from there.

While we’re waiting, anyone want to chime in on why they made whatever decision they made?

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11 responses to “How to Publish. The decision can drive an author CRAZY.

  1. I’m definitely looking forward to this series. It’s so true that there’s no “one size fits all” for writers and publishing. I suspect a lot of your readers will find these posts very helpful!

  2. Appreciate the small posts of info. Different routes for different temperaments and writings?

  3. Looking forward to series. :-)
    I like traditional publishing.

  4. I’ve tried to get into the big houses, because those were what I read growing up. Turns out, what I write is too idiosyncratic for them, but I’ve found a home with small presses. I do kind of wish I could get the wider distribution and be reviewed more, but there you go.

  5. Just started querying agents. I’m taking the traditional path because I want to make sure my writing is ready for public consumption. I’m guessing these professionals will let me know either way.

  6. It’s different for everyone, but it all comes down to one thing, research, research, research.

  7. Cool. Looking forward to the series of posts.

  8. I assumed I’d go traditional until I started looking into self-publishing, and then I changed my mind. It’s not something I talk about a lot, because people tend to make it into a defensive debate rather than a discussion, and I hate drama. It was right for me. I’m happy for friends who go other routes (imprints of larger publishers, small independent presses), but have no regrets over what I’m doing. There are definitely advantages and challenges to each route. I think it’s just a matter of figuring out which benefits we want vs. what we can handle in terms of risk, missed chances, and cost.

    Can’t wait to read your posts!

  9. Traditional all the way for me. Small, indie presses to start with. Would like to land a big house. Maybe I will some day. right now I’ll toss my stuff out there. See what sticks and if I like the deal, I’ll take it.