Traditional or Indie?

Following on the heels of my previous blog post about self publishing and traditional publishing I want to take a different angle; the angle of the first time Indie author/writer who is now chosen to be publisher. Sure the great royalty rate from Amazon is superb, and I get to keep more of my money than if I went the traditional route, but maybe the traditional route is what I need?

For several years at the least, I have been listening and reading thoughts from established authors and writers about this ebook revolution we are witnessing. I have taken careful notes, followed sound advice, and watched as they pounded the drums of Indie Power. So true, there is a ton of power doing it yourself, and much reward as the traditional houses fall one by one. These writers often report on the faults of trad publishing and keep us all informed of the new world of Indie publishing. I for one, happen to agree with almost everything these successful authors have said. I have learned a great deal from them.

Now from the view of an un-established Indie author and writer: As I listen to the financial talk from some of these writers I ask “How did they get such great sales numbers by self publishing their ebooks?” The obvious answer is they are great writers and have years of experience developing a fan base. Another answer to go along with the previous is they built their fan base through the help of traditional publishers. Sure their great writing skills speaks for the fan base, but I’m sure they didn’t have to work double time on the twitterverse, facebook, and whatever trying to direct readers to their product. Of course social media was probably not around in the beginning for these writers, but my point is they had help. Sure, once readers became hooked and spread the word based on their great stories they gained their edge. For us, however, getting that edge does not have the advantage of a group; marketing, editing, cover work, etc. that a publishing house is supposed to provide. I only say “supposed to” because what I hear is they don’t even do much of that anymore. But, let’s say for the sake of argument, that they did provide all that. Sure beats doing it all yourself. The one thing you are giving up is the financial aspect which is huge. Because of that, aside from how hard it is to get discovered, I chose to go solo and drive my ebook train all by my lonesome.

It’s because of all the hard work in marketing that many of us choose to still believe that traditional publishing is the way to go. I completely understand those who think this way, even until the traditional dying end. No matter what, if your writing is good enough it will draw attention if it can get into the hands of the readers. That is the tricky part that I don’t hear the established authors blog, talk, or give advice about (much). Some try, but because they already have an established audience I think it is much easier for them. I didn’t say they don’t have to work at it on a daily basis, I just said easier.

In the social media world every Indie writer/author is trying to direct people to their work, and that’s o.k… Really. However, because everyone is doing so, the consumer is bogged down with everyone friending each other just for promotion and the desired use of social media is tainted, thus causing sales to suffer. I don’t see any other way though, and this promotion problem remains to be the biggest hurdle for the Indie author. I don’t blame those who choose to stick with traditional means.