I’m not really sure when it was, a couple months ago I believe, I mentioned here on my blog that I was working on another project. It was a series of novels that I was going to self publish as a paired project with another person. Unfortunately, the plan kinda fell through the floor and we ended up cancelling it a few weeks ago. It actually doesn’t bother me that much, but there’s some things surrounding it that I wanted to discuss.
There was nothing wrong with our plan, in the end, the two of us were just too busy with other things to properly coordinate on the project to get it done in a reasonable amount of time. In the end, it just wasn’t meant to be. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all!
In fact, the ideas surrounding the story were mine, the writing was mine, and because the project has been terminated- it’s still all mine. Truthfully, I love the story that I have here (which is why it’s a shame to see it put away for now) and I plan on continuing it in the future. Maybe after the entire Taichiren’s series is done with… which I plan to be at least four books. So maybe a couple of years if I wait until then, or a bit sooner if I decide to draft it in between completing the other books.
Okay, so here’s the actual point of this post: I’m actually a bit thankful we didn’t go through with the process.
The reasoning behind this is because I’m a bit afraid of self publishing, and not just for one simple reason… there’s actually quite a few. The first reason is because there’s a huge stigma against self publishing, myself included. I’ve only read one self published book, and it was terrible. When I read it (it was a couple of years ago) I didn’t even know about self publishing, so I was really confused about the quality. That experience alone was enough to veer me away from most self published books, though I’ve picked up a few free copies of self published fantasy novels from /r/fantasy that I plan on giving a go once I’m finally feeling brave enough. Simply put, the fact that there’s no barrier of quality is a bit off-putting.
Another reason is because of the amount of work involved in self publishing. On top of all of that writing, editing, writing, and more editing you need to do just to prepare the novel for publishing, you need to make arrangements to format your book, get cover art designed, promote and market your book, and who knows what else I might be forgetting about. Not to mention all of the out-of-pocket costs to get that all done on a professional level.
And the final reason… this is simply because I put so much value behind traditional publishing. I love the concept of having your work accepted and purchased by a company dedicated to publishing and selling books. Of course it also has its downfalls (which I won’t go into detail here, as that’s not the point of this post), but it’s called traditional for a reason.
In the end I’m not sure if I’m only hurting myself by being hesitant to consider self publishing, but at the moment I’m not really close enough to publishing anything anyway that it doesn’t matter at the moment. Except when the time comes, will I change my mind, or even better, make up my mind about what I want to do with my writing? Something else I’ve been considering is that there are a fair few of successful hybrid authors (Michael J. Sullivan comes to mind- that is, he’s published both traditionally and through self publishing), so it’s not as if you’re limited to one or the other.
I don’t know. I guess I’m just not ready to decide yet, but all things come in time…
What are your thoughts on traditional and self publishing? Do you plan to do one other the other, and why?