Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How do you plan to publish your work-in-progress?


So. I'm curious if the times they are a-changing.

A year ago, I asked a simple question: how do you plan to publish your work-in-progress?

And now, inspired my long-running poll about buying e-books, I'm asking agin. Do you think the times have changed? Are more people willing to go straight to self-publishing? Are people reconsidering the benefits of traditional publication?

We shall see. Poll below. If you're reading this on a feed reader or via e-mail, please click through to see it.








25 comments:

haydenthorne.com said...

Does small press publishing fall under traditional publishing? That's always been my path for my books.

Maya Prasad said...

You need another choice: I will pursue traditional publishing first but will consider self-publishing if it doesn't work out.

(Since considering and doing it aren't exactly the same).

Karey Brown said...

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. This will be the 2nd book in a 5 book series. Book 1 is doing VERY well, so the 'going it alone' has worked out rather well. But, alas, I'm old school. I still hold out hope that I'll acquire an agent and my publishing dreams will come true. No, NOT trying to be funny. Very serious. That said, the whole Indie author thing has been a SERIOUS learning adventure. I have a whole new appreciation for what agents/copy editors/publishers go through. And, I will worship a cover artist--laugh. Gah...getting the cover just right...all the work we put into the guts of the book, no way am I tossing it all for a lousy cover!

Anonymous said...

I always love seeing the results to these polls, it's great to see so many different opinions and that people are pursuing all.

I pick the invisible hybrid option. I'm consciously and happily pursuing both paths at the same time for different reasons depending on the WIP.

Sasha A. Palmer said...

I was also wondering about small presses, would they fall under "traditional publishing" in this poll? They are definitely an option.

Nathan Bransford said...

Yeah, small presses would be traditional.

Anonymous said...

I'm in a weird place with this one. I write genre fiction and I have an established niche readership and name. At this point, I choose to indie publish because I've worked so hard to get my readership and I can save them money by keeping my book prices down...and still make more than with a publisher. I've also found that publishers, large or small, have no real allegiance to authors. They're only looking for the next best thing.

And yet I prefer working with a publisher. It's actually very frustrating for some of us. We indie publish in some cases because we're forced to do that in order to compete and remain relevant.

featherpenstartandreams said...

I've gotten full requests from several traditional publishers. They've said they like the story/writing/concept but wouldn't know where to "put me". I write contemporary romance so that answer always floors me. I decided to self-publish because of the control it offers. Is it difficult? Absolutely. Can it be expensive. Yep. But so can being traditionally published.

Publishing is still a case of what do you want from your writing career. I don't think there's a wrong or right answer. Each person must choose the path they're most comfortable with.

Melanie Macek

Janiss Garza said...

I'm a little bit different, as I have a small press, and I publish both my own work and others. At the same time, I'm not married to my own press for my writing. So I'm sort of in-between self and traditional publishing. The next book I have coming out is an anthology that I've only edited and not contributed to, so I answered traditional, since in this case, I'm technically a traditional publisher.

I do think some books are better served by large traditional publishing companies - celebrity memoirs, for example (I've co-authored one), and anything journalistic that requires extensive research... and a strong legal department's support. But in a lot of ways, I think small presses that really know their niche/genre are better than big companies where books might get lost in the shuffle. If an author really knows his/her genre and how to market, I do think self-publishing is a great option. At the same time, I think authors are leaving books unsold if they aren't really business and marketing savvy. I'm a big supporter of small presses (not just mine) for this reason.

Gehayi said...

Actually, I don't think that I'm ready to do either until I know a ton more about marketing.

Kate Avery Ellison said...

Currently working on my 13th published work (book #3 in my second series), which will be self-published. I've already turned down offers from traditional publishers. This is a wonderful path for me thus far, and I'm happy with it. Self-pub has been very, very good to me.

Bruce Bonafede said...

I'm going to print the book out on Hammermill 25# Bright White stock, put it in a manila envelope unbound, fly to New York, take a cab to the Empire State Building, go up to the Observation Deck, and throw the entire thing out over Manhattan while a jazz trio plays "Cast My Fate to the Wind" in the background.

Digger said...

Still longing to see a work of mine on the shelves at Waterstones so I'll be knocking on metaphorical doors again once my WIP is finished, although I won't be repeating the 2-year slog I went through with my first novel (which I self-published for Kindle in 2012). I expect I'll give it 50 or so submissions and if no-one bites I'll go it alone again.

harryipants said...


My publisher pays much better royalties than the Big 5, their editors improved my book far beyond what I imagined possible, and they've also done a much better job of covers, book design, marketing, and everything else than I ever could have done by myself — they've been awesome, and I really hope they'll publish my next book.
That said, other projects may be better suited to self-publishing or Big 5, and it'd be silly not to consider all aspects when weighing up possibilities.

G. B. Miller said...

I've done the traditional route, which I was completely happy with, but with the type/length of stories that I write, I play on self publishing.

Father Nature's Corner

AlanD said...

The problem with self-publishing is technical issues. Too many steps involved converting a doc file to a MOBI file. Way too complicated!

Ravens said...

I think there is a lot of ground between what used to be thought of traditional publishing (editors, agents, queries, advances, marketing plans, print copies) and self-publishing (none of the above).
I'm with a micro-press. We're more of a cooperative group of authors that also have various editing, formatting, marketing, etc. skills. Specialize in launching new authors, who are free after to seek out 'traditional' for the next book. We use Createspace to print and have a distributor with a catalogue to libraries and bookstores.

Ravens said...

I think there is a lot of ground between what used to be thought of traditional publishing (editors, agents, queries, advances, marketing plans, print copies) and self-publishing (none of the above).
I'm with a micro-press. We're more of a cooperative group of authors that also have various editing, formatting, marketing, etc. skills. Specialize in launching new authors, who are free after to seek out 'traditional' for the next book. We use Createspace to print and have a distributor with a catalogue to libraries and bookstores.

Neil Larkins said...

At this point my WIP, a memoir, will be pubbed online - like I did with my two fictions. I have this perception - even if wrong, and I don't believe it is - that a memoir by an unknown, so-so writer like me is a hard sell to an agent. I don't have the strength to go the route of trying to find someone who will like my stuff as much as I do. I don't have the strength or wherewithall to do my own marketing either, and it's just as hard a sell as to an agent, but at least online I have a little more control and can do what I do when it suits me.

Melanie Schulz said...

I'm giving the same answer this year as I did last. Traditional houses don't interest me.

Anonymous said...

I wish everyone thought the way this poll indicates. There would be a lot less competition for us indies :)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

It depends on the work-in-progress.

I have an offbeat MG fantasy and a YA contemporary that no one's called dibs on yet. I still don't think the MG market's to the point where self-publishing would be lucrative, so it's a traditional publisher or bust for that one. But I'm open to the idea of self-publishing my YA contemporary if it doesn't find a home. (In fact, if my existing publisher doesn't want it, I've been thinking about self-publishing it without submitting it widely first.)

Anma Natsu said...

This year my vote changed. Previously, I've always said that I am going to self-publish first but would consider traditional if they offer. This time though, I voted that I am self-publishing and not considering traditional.

For me personally, the cons of traditional publishing are too great to consider. It would have to be a just ridiculously, crazy awesome offer for me to give up the control of my works at this point to go traditional, to the point that I'd rank it as "not considering".

Paul Duffau said...

I'll be self-pubbing everything. I'm writing in a narrowly defined niche that simply would not interest a traditional publisher, plus I don't always play nicely with others-though generally that's when I think the others are blooming idiots.

The marketing will be relatively straightforward since I am targeting the niche but I'm not in any particular hurry to get the ball rolling. One book is out, the second will be in another couple of months. both are standalones, as are the next several in the hopper. Given my skills in editing and cover design, I hire professionals to help.

If I switch over to genre fiction, I'll reevaluate the process but I suspect that I would rather take advantage of the technology for now.

Kristi Lea said...

I've done both small press and self-pub. Next one is self-pub. Earnings-wise, seems about the same. Marketing-wise, I saw little difference in the results between my paltry efforts and their slightly better efforts. And by going by myself, I get to pick the cover photo (yes, could be my downfall, but then I wasn't overly thrilled with their choices and I've found a good source for stock photos with people I actually find attractive...)

Also, writing is my break from day-job-as-slave-to-the-company-line. I quite like knowing that if I fail, if I succeed, at least I live as I believe...

(and apparently I'm in a silly mood quoting old Whitney Houston songs...)

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