Saturday, July 20, 2013

Top 3 Publishing Venues


Do you know what a hybrid author is? Clue: it’s got nothing to do with GMO’s or any sort of freakish grafting. In short, it’s simply a writer who colors outside the lines by taking advantage of multiple publishing avenues. Let's take a little looksee at the pros and cons of each, shall we? 

Traditional
PRO’s
Ø  up-front moolah in the form of an advance
Ø  more of a chance your book will get noticed and you won’t even have to wear a gorilla suit (unless you want to)
Ø  professional editors, marketers, and cover designers paid for by The Man instead of you
Ø  easier access to foreign rights, film rights, bookshelves, and all-around awe and respect from others in the publishing industry

CON’s
Ø  you’ll need to scare up an agent
Ø  the process is s-l-o-w, so slow you might die waiting in the process (yes, Susie Downer is my middle name, thank you very much)
Ø  publishers are in it for the money and not very willing to take on groundbreaking ‘risky’ prose, no matter how much your mother and significant other are sure it will sell
Ø  unless you’re a big name, royalties are not what they used to be…translation: a pittance


Indie
PRO’s
Ø  small presses are willing to take on zombie dystopian romances and/or whatever non-traditional genre you might be penning
Ø  it’s a great way to break into the publishing biz
Ø  some independents are eaten by bigger fish, taking you along for a free ride into Successville
Ø  you’ve still got some kind of marketing support, albeit minimal

CON’s
Ø  if there is an advance, you’ll probably only be able to splurge on a few White Castle gut bombs with it
Ø  covers generally look like they’ve been created by an art school dropout who’s barely hanging on until his next hit of meth
Ø  if you were hoping for bookshelf space at B&N, sorry…not happening


Self
PRO’s
Ø  you sit in the driver seat, steering your book car on any cover design or editing road you want to
Ø  you can write what you feel like, gosh
Ø  equal rights don’t apply here, baby, because they’re all yours
Ø  when the profits roll in, they go directly to your bank account
Ø  once the work of getting it out there is finished, your eBook is practically eternal…except, of course, if an EMP bomb goes off

CON’s
Ø  you sit in the driver seat, taking the brunt of cost pot holes and marketing road blocks
Ø  you’ll endure the sneers of literary snobs who assume that traditional publishers have rejected you and this is the only route left for you to get your horrifically written story to the public
Ø  it’s not as easy as it looks if you want to output a decent piece of work

There’s really no magical formula to follow, like first try to publish traditionally and then you’ll have an audience to go on your own. That can work, but so can self-pubbing first and then when you get noticed, scoop up a traditional contract. The bottom line is that no matter what route you choose, write the best book you possibly can. A fan-freaking-tastic story is always the best trump card to hold in your hand.

And if this whole hybrid thing fascinates you and you'd like to read more, check out An Escapee From the Island of Dr. Moreau.

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas…professionally, however, for the past 10 years. Her latest release, A HEART DECEIVED, is available by David C. Cook. You can find her at:
Writer Off the Leash,
www.michellegriep.com or on
TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest.


3 comments:

Heather Day Gilbert said...

The best part of going hybrid? You get to KEEP WRITING and getting stuff out there faster! I'm so excited to finally go this route. Yes, I do still hope for traditional publication. But I love the idea of getting a book into my readers' hands! Helpful post, Michelle!

Ane Mulligan said...

There's one thing about small presses. They usually pay higher royalties. :)

Martha W. Rogers said...

Great information, Michelle. Thanks.