I turned down a three book deal from an American publisher to go ‘indie’ with this, my first thriller and it’s been quite a journey! Patriot, A Brooke Kinley Adventure is self published and this was a very difficult decision for me, because I’ve been a traditionally published author of non-fiction for the past 16 years. There is a great deal written about the upside of self publishing and some of it is even true. Here’s my take on the issue, having experienced both sides.
Pro Self Publishing:
Most new authors just don’t realize that a book deal with a traditional publisher (large or small) does not mean there is a huge publicity budget assigned to you (or even any budget at all). There won’t be launch parties, national book tours or huge advances. All this is reserved for a tiny handful of (very) well established authors. Everything else you must do yourself. You then have a few weeks to make a splash in sales before your book quietly disappears from bookshelves. However, now that self publishing has become truly possible in the past few years, you still have to do all the ‘heavy lifting’, but you get to keep up to 70% of the proceeds, which is a ten-fold improvement on what a publisher offers in a traditional deal. There is also a real pleasure in retaining complete control over all the decisions, from who to hire as your editor, to the jacket and website design, to where to put the marketing budget. Finally of course, your book launch is managed by someone who believes in it 100%, i.e. you. Getting lots of rave reviews from readers about a book traditional publishers sneered at (typical if it’s a genre novel), is very satisfying. It’s even better when your novel wins awards.
There are, in my opinion, just three reasons to go with a mainstream publisher; the biggest is ‘kudos’. Nothing says ‘I’m a real author’ like the name of a familiar publishing house on the spine of your book. Secondly, most of the mainstream press is wary of reviewing self published books and that’s a real drawback, although it is changing, slowly. The same applies to most of the book awards (and all of the prestigious ones). Thirdly, maybe you don’t know enough about publishing (business, technology, marketing etc), or have the time to do all the other jobs required to launch a book.
My advice to anyone considering these two routes? The best possible solution is to be published by a traditional publisher first. Get a following and make a name for yourself. Further down the road, you can use that as real capital to launch your self-published work. Your existing profile with both reviewers and readers will then lift you above the ‘pack’ of self published titles and solve the biggest problem of self publishing, which is visibility.
A.S. Bond is the author of ‘Patriot’ A Brooke Kinley Adventure, an award-winning thriller that debuted at #13 in its category on Amazon. For more information and the latest news, visit www.brookekinleyadventures.com https://www.facebook.com/as.bond.773 Twitter: @brookekinleyadv
Read the first page for free on http://booksgosocial.com/2014/05/12/patriot/