I really like saying things are “pants”, so I thought I’d slip it into the title for the hell of it. And it would seem a fair comment: self-publishing is bigger business now than it ever has been, and with the advent of e-books making a smash into the market – the Kindle recently outsold hard-back books on Amazon – it’s the perfect time to ponder this question. A question that divides people in many more ways than one, and everyone in publishing has a strong opinion on.
Working in the publishing business, even if only as a writer rather than publisher, I can see why the publishers are concerned: e-books are generally much cheaper, more accessible and largely speaking they don’t get edited. I’m sure many do, but a great deal more are just slung up on there immediately, with authors looking to make it big as cheaply as possible.
Then I can see it from the writers'perspective: publishing is a hard business, the credit-crunch means that companies are far more reticent to take new writers on, and why would you bother submitting to agents and publishers when you had no need?
And there’s the tricky part: you do have need. While I love the idea of being in total control of my work, I am also very aware of just how much work a good self-publishing project is…and that’s something which the publishers know how to do, and you probably don’t.
You make up your mind: self storage and waiting to sell copies, or a traditional publisher after a long wait that might yield results. There are no easy answer here…