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How to Decide. Trad vs Indie?

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Tall stories and Blue Skies

It would be wonderful if you received an enthusiastic response from the editor of one of the major publishing houses when you submitted your manuscript. In time, the excitement would wane. There would be questions - Do you have an author platform? an email list of keen fans? an accessible and responsive website? a marketing plan?

If you have the right answers to these questions, you might have hit the jackpot. Advantages that will accrue will include book cover design, professional editing and proof-reading, along with a degree of marketing. BUT you will also have to do a lot of work to satisfy the publisher. This will be in the areas of marketing. building an email list, building a website and issuing regular blog posts to your growing band of fans.

The up-front payment will usually disappoint and the royalty rate is modest. There is no huge fortune involved unless the book takes off and achieves sales at a viral level.

Sadly, except for the one writer in thousands, there is no gold at the end of the story.

The big plus is the vote of confidence from a professional in the industry and this can be of great benefit in future writing as well as in the live situation. A writer will learn much from working with the professionals at a publishing house.

There is a low rate of positive response to submissions. There are a lot of poorly written, poorly conceived manuscripts sent for review and rejection is often spontaneous, then in resignation and then in frustration. Very few submissions get past these stages. No response (normal) or a rejection leaves the writer with two choices: The waste paper bin or a re-write and a stint as a self-publisher on the internet.

Self-publishing is easy - millions of books have been published on amazon and the other retail sites. Selling even one copy is hard. There are essential elements to a self-publishing business.

1. Book Cover - must catch the eye, give an insight to the story, please the target audience, and represent the relevant market niche.

2. Book Description - requires concerted effort to hook the target reader to want more, hint and threaten but don't tell the story. It is the sales page for your work.

3. An email list. This is hard. Have something to give away in exchange for an email address - a newsletter, blog articles, a novella, another novel?

4. Great content. A dynamic story with characters that matter to the reader or, if non-fiction, content relevant to the market niche and helpful to the target reader.

5. An author platform - a website, blog, email subscribers.

There are many books and courses on the internet able to provide details.

Becoming a recognised author is a tough assignment.

Until it happens, write for the satisfaction, even the sheer pleasure of creating something that is as good as you can write.

Courage. Persistence.

David 's ebooks are at

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