Rivka's Note: This is a guest post from the talented author Nicholas Rossis. You can learn more about him and his books at the end of this post.
“Should I Publish Traditionally or Go Indie?” This is a question I head surprisingly often, especially from new authors. I always tell people that both are valid ways, and advise them to pursue a traditional publishing contract first, if that's what they want. However, they should not stop at that. Instead, they should keep their options open, should they fail to get a contract.
Personally, I’m a hybrid author. A short story and a book of mine have been traditionally published, but I have also self-published six books, four of which have become Amazon best-sellers. So, I’m quite familiar with both means of publication, and have had plenty of positive experiences with them. Which is probably why it distresses me when traditionally published authors or publishers attack Indies and vice versa.
Opponents of self-publishing usually levy two charges against it: that there is no quality control, and that Indies will swamp the market.
The first one is called the tsunami of crap argument, referring to the bad-quality books that Indie authors have, supposedly, unleashed upon unsuspecting readers. However, I have yet to come across a truly dreadful Indie book. So far, my experience has followed a traditional Bell curve – i.e. some books have not been to my liking, some I have loved, and many were in between.
As this has been my experience with traditionally published books as well, I have so far failed to find a connection between the publishing model and my enjoyment of a book. What publishing companies usually do well is proofread their publications. However, they tend to streamline authors into a homogenous set of “rules.” For example, editors often come up with rules for each genre that are stifling and lead to boring, repetitive books. The same applies to writing.
Indie authors, on the other hand, can be as creative as they like. This has been a hit and miss affair. When it works, however, it allows for works that bristle with creativity.
The second charge against self-publishing is that, with everyone becoming a writer, we will run out of readers. This reminds me of a common fear a few years back, when I kept reading articles on how the Internet was bursting at the seams and we would soon run out of bandwidth, domain names, servers... You name it.
What these articles failed to take into account is that, any system growing rapidly, will also have more resources at its disposal. The millions of people joining the Internet fed its expansion. As a result, we now have ever increasing capacity and millions of unused names.
The same applies to books. For example, ever since I published my first book, I have been reading at an exponential rate. I can only hope that everyone becomes a writer, as this creates a whole new generation of readers!
As for the quality charge, why don’t you read my children’s book, Runaway Smile, online for free and make up your own mind?