Nathan Bransford has posted twice this week about the ongoing battle between traditional vs. self-publishing, to get across this message: It's not a battle, people! It's simply a business/career decision!
I was nodding my head in vigorous agreement with every word of his post, especially the following quote:
"There is no "us" vs. "them." Traditional vs. self-publishing is a false
dichotomy. It's an illusion created by people who either have let their
frustrations get the best of them or are trying to sell you something."
And then I just happened to read this post at the blog of traditionally-published novelist and playwright, Catherine Czerkawska, who recently made the decision to self-publish. I think her blog perfectly outlines what Bransford is saying about it being a business decision, not an either/or conflict.
Catherine writes: "The age bit is important only in that it has made me focus on the
horribly swift passage of time. Publishing involves a lot of waiting,
even when you have an agent. Here's how it goes. (and then she gives a very good summary/outline of a typical time-line of the agented author which everyone considering their own publishing choice should read) You can see how age becomes an issue, can't you? Well, it did for me,
last year. I found myself with several completed and almost completed
novels. People were telling me they wanted to read them. People I
respected (editors included) were telling me they were good. But there
was no deal on the horizon and it struck me that even if there was, the
wait would be a long one."
These are wonderful times for writers, where we now have numerous choices before us. If you want to go with a publishing company, there's the agent route to the big publisher or the small press traditional publisher or the ebook only publisher. If you want to self-publish, there's the companies that will help get your work out for a fee or the set up your own company and hire it out to freelancers or the do it all yourself.
When does publishing become a choice? It is when you have a really good, completed manuscript and you must now decide how to publish it and get it into the hands of readers. What a very nice dilemma!