The traditional path to publishing is not the normal path – it is just one of many ways that authors can pursue in today’s environment.
Entrepreneurs are bold innovators that want to beat their own path. People admire these great leaders and foragers . . . unless the path they want to beat is the one that drives their own writing products.
Self-published authors are vain, arrogant and superficial. Self-published books are cheaper, less-professional, and just thrown together so that someone can say they are published. Self-published authors are not entrepreneurs, but are merely self-indulgent individuals.
When I was in elementary school, I hired several of the neighborhood kids to help me with a lemonade empire. We would sell you a sample of our lemonade for a penny or we would deliver a full cup right to where you were working (it helped that a construction company was building across the street). We made the local paper AND onto a segment of “The Rest of the Story.”
That was my first taste of being an entrepreneur. Not once did someone accuse us of being self-indulgent. We were “go getters.” We are praised and commended. We were held up as examples of having a good business head.
Several years ago, I began reviewing the publishing industry. The number of copies a “successful” book sold had plummeted to the low thousands and an author could only expect to get a small portion of what the publisher considered the profits of that book. Using that same brain that created a neighborhood lemonade conglomerate, I began looking into the independent publishing path.
My husband and I talked about the options. I listened to the teaching and professionals at the writing conferences. I continued to dig in and learn more.
I then made the CHOICE to invest in my own, unique publishing path. I found professional editors to work with my manuscript. I found professional designers to help with the covers. I found professional marketers to help with the publicity.
The independent path is not the NORMAL path – but it is one of the paths that a writer can choose to take. The key is not to find the “one size fits all” answer to publishing. The key is to find your size.
No matter what direction you take, you will need to invest resources into the editing, design, and publicity. It is your book and there will never be anyone that cares for your book the way that you do.