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Why I Didn’t Self Publish

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Today I am giving a bit of insight into my decision, many years ago, to pursue traditional publishing. I’ve been at it for about 5 years, and I’m on my third book, which is being published next year!

I talk about distribution, branding, editing, marketing and more in the video, and something I forgot to mention that ties into distribution: you can’t get into libraries unless you are traditionally published, and libraries are very important to me!

Also, I’d like to note that OF COURSE good self-publishers hire editors and cover designers and whatnot to help them produce the best possible produce, similar to what you get with a traditional publisher. I forgot to mention it, and don’t want any awesome self-publishers to think that I’m selling them short! However, I do like that in traditional publishing that money flows to the author, so, again, I don’t have to worry about the “running my own business” aspect of the whole thing.

To each his own, and these are just my personal reasons!

Pre-Order BRIGHTLY BURNING: https://www.amazon.com/Brightly-Burning-Alexa-Donne/dp/1328948935/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1500334638&sr=1-1

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35065031-brightly-burning

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Comments

Pixie Dust No Mad says:

I have my first book and can’t decide what to do, so far it’s going to be through create space and amazon but I don’t know how to find a publisher.

Philip Mann says:

Alexa, you present yourself very well. And your points are correct, the pros and cons of self publishing. Going self-pub means being a jack-of all-trades, and mastering them all. The people who can do that are very rare.

Alesha Sauls says:

What publishing company did you go with?

theloneowl1 says:

You gave a thorough and well-reasoned presentation here. I (truly) wish you the best of luck with your debut sales…but after a few books, you might want to reconsider some of your points–like giving your agent 15%. Make sure you invoke the audit clause down the road; if the agency drops you, then they were probably embezzling–and hoping you wouldn't notice. That's what happens when you let them handle all the money/paperwork before disbursing to you, rather than splitting checks at the publisher accounting department. It happens all the time, usually because writers can't be bothered. (And because THEIR agent is honest, and the exception, and of course their agent would never do that. And that may be true, but what about the agency's accountant? Trust, but verify. Even Lee Child has two full-time auditors.) Again, this is all down the road…

Mandi Lynn says:

Very valid points. There's definatley pros and cons to both sides.

Anastaysia Cole says:

Thank you. Very informative!

Margriet Zonneveld says:

Thank you for this video! Your reasons closely resemble my own, although I'm still in the early writing phase so I allow room for changing my mind in a few year if I want 😉
I do have some questions, how do you know YA gets sold mostly still in book stores? How can I find out how the genre I'm interested in, is selling and where?

Tom Rake Bluer says:

YA? Quality? From my recent reads there are a lot of YA novels thats problematic. They are targeting commercial success so bad that they are risking the quality of the story. Hope the industry changes.

Johnny Newnes says:

Hi Alexa,
I just wanted to say that I have greatly enjoyed your videos. Thank you so much for the great information you are sharing. I really appreciate how organized and clear you are with the subjects you present. Keep it up!

April Taylor says:

Great insight. I love that you choose the option that works for you and share that without putting down self-publishing. So many people are all for one option and against the other and I love how you are knowledgeable about both and highlight the fact that knowing yourself and your genre is key. Hybid is a great option and my goal.

Pia Raylee says:

Great Video! loved hearing your opinions you make some great points. I am a young adult fantasy writer. My debut novel is currently being professionally edited so i have the option to go either way publishing wise. Of course to be traditionally published is my dream and it is so amazing to hear your journey and advice. Cant wait to see more of your channel.

A.R. Asher says:

Hi Alexa! I'm wondering how a person should go about planning his or her author "career." Any advice? I've been planning an indie career until recently and I would love to hear your thoughts.
Also, just want to let you know that I love your channel; these videos are so inspiring, motivating, and informational! I aspire to this level of quality!

Isabel Sterling says:

My long term goal is to be a hybrid writer: trad for MG and YA, indie for adult. But it'll likely be at least 5 years before I'd take the indie plunge (I'd want to write at least a full trilogy before releasing anything so there's a good speed of initial releases).

Alina Popescu says:

Depending on your personality and needs, I agree, self-publishing might be more of a chore than anyone should ever have to deal with. For control freaks… might not be that great. I have been a hybrid author for a while, and I am going to continue like that, but 75% of my books will always be self-published.

I am going with smaller publishers, but that is because of the genres I choose to write. Gay fiction and gay romance are not yet mainstream. Sure, there are some exceptions, but most of the titles in these genres (and all their subgenres) are published by small, indie presses and self-published authors.

Totally agree with you, volume does matter. I saw the difference this year when I had a lot of titles released. Some were re-releases, some were new, but the volume made a huge difference.

Self-publishing also comes with an initial price tag (editing, cover design, etc). I am lucky that I have found great editors and cover designers and that I am techie enough that I could teach myself how to find a good formatting software for ebooks and learn how to format paperbacks. But the marketing and business side require just as much work and a solid investment. It's definitely not for everyone. Just as traditional publishing does not work for everyone.

I love to see more authors doing their research before choosing one over the other. I believe it's good to know what you're getting into, otherwise it won't go all that well.

Bethany Laurell says:

I found myself nodding along with a lot of this. I'm also planning to pursue traditional publishing, for a lot of the same reasons you mentioned–wanting to focus more on the creative side of things, plus not being a fast or prolific enough writer to build up the kind of quantity needed for self-publishing success. (It doesn't help that I know absolute zilch about marketing or business. I'm terrible at math!)

That said, I can definitely see how self-publishing could be an attractive option to someone who's equally talented/interested in both the creative and business sides of publishing, or a Type A personality who really wants to maintain complete control over the whole process. And there's also something to be said for having the majority of the profits come to you, the author, rather than splitting up among you, your agent, your publisher, your publicist, etc. If there's one thing that's always seemed "off" to me about traditional publishing, it's how rare it is for authors–the people actually creating the product!–to make a living off of their work. You never hear about agents or editors needing to have a second "day job" just to make ends meet, but for the writers themselves, without whom there would be no need for agents or editors, it just seems to be accepted as a fact of life. I dunno, maybe I'm naive (and obviously self-publishing isn't usually a ticket to big money either), but that just doesn't seem right to me.

Anyway, I suppose that was all a bunch of rambling to say maybe hybrid is the best way to go!

Lily Meade says:

Self publishing can also be expensive! There's a lot of upfront costs.

KreativeKill says:

I think bookstores will be the most important thing definitely for traditional publishing. Theres been more ways for self publishers to distribute recently though, so for me self publishing will still be my number one. I also don't mind making the trips to bookstore and telling them about my book if they're interested. Of course they're going to want your book to do well on amazon or wherever if they are going to carry your book. Regardless if bookstores dont carry I dont mind as long as a lot of people like my book and you know help me live my writing life 🙂

Thats awesome that your getting your third book out there. Im interested in traditional vs self publishing, and I look forward to any videos you have coming up on the topic. Its an interesting time since the amazon goldrush has gone and its nice to see what people think about both types of publishing.

Crystel Vrana says:

Family and friends always ask me why I want to traditionally publish, I must now send them this video. You explained my exact thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, being a full-time writer would be like a dream come true for me, but I'm not going to pretend that I will be able to do that, I want to be real. And what you said about the traditional route is exactly how I feel, thanks for sharing your insights!

Charles W. H. Rand II says:

I plan to pursue hybrid publishing. Owning the rights to my work is important to me. Allow the big dogs to get your name poppin', then go Indie. Thank you business school.

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