Screw the Traditional Publishing Route… A Guide to Self Publishing

When I first wrote The Defender, I had absolutely no idea what I was stepping into, and for once, Google was no help. There was so much information about publishing a book that my eyes went crossed just thinking about it.
One of the biggest surprises was about Literary Agents. I had no idea that you needed one if you wanted to get in with big publishing houses, like Penguin Random House or Harper Collins. These big companies are members of The Big Five. That’s right; there are five major publishing companies. These companies hold the market on best sellers and the number of books published.
OK, here is my secret, you don’t need them! It’s true. What I learned was that getting an agent is incredibly difficult. I queried over 30 agents and never even heard back from most of them. Lucky for me, I was already pursuing the self-publishing route. I knew I had a good story, and I wasn’t going to let a couple of nicely worded rejection letters slow me down.
Now don’t get me wrong, getting an agent would have been nice, but there are things that I would have had to sacrifice—going through one of the big five means you lose control over your product. Essentially you are selling it to them unless you are some big-name like J.K Rowling, then you might get a bit more say in how the product turns out. For most of us, though, it would mean letting someone else design your cover, interior, marketing strategy, distribution… essentially, all of the nitty-gritty would be handed over to someone else.
Another negative about the traditional publishing route is the net royalties; that’s right, it always comes down to money. If you publish through a big firm, everyone wants a piece of your pie; your literary agent, your publisher, your marketing agents, etc. So even if you do get a book deal for an impressive lump sum, in the end, you will only take home a fraction of that. And what happens if your book does much better than expected? Well, unless you have stipulated in your contract with the publisher, the majority of the net royalties will go back to the publisher.
Enter self-publishing, my knight in shining armour. After everything I learned (and tried) in the traditional publishing route, it was an easy decision to choose the self-publishing world. Fun fact, did you know that there are some very famous books that started out as a self-published adventure. Books like The Martian, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Eragon were all self-published, and they all went on to be picked up by big publishers and made into movies. THERE IS NO SHAME IN SELF-PUBLISHING!!

2 thoughts on “Screw the Traditional Publishing Route… A Guide to Self Publishing”

  1. What a good overview of a very complicated world. I can’t even imagine all the info that you had to sort through to get to this point!

  2. Good for you to venture beyond the traditional publishing methods and avoiding all the heartaches of the rejection letters, and then wondering if they stole your ideas. The digital age certainly comes with some bonuses. Carry on Alexia. 🙂 M

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