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NaNoWriMo Day 18 - Publishing - Self, Indie, Traditional

Which Way to Go?

Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

I managed to claw my way back up to the line on my Nanowrimo word count graph. Having said that, I've done no writing today so I know what I'll be doing after this blog!

Firstly, I want to say that there is no obligation for you to publish your writing whatsoever! Don't let anyone tell you that if you choose not to be published, you're not a real writer. That is a load of...cobblers! You've written, haven't you? You've written a book? Then you're a writer, whether you're published or not.

If you do go down the publishing route, then best of luck to you! It's incredibly hard work, no matter which way you go. In this blog, I will be listing a basic pro and con list of each method. If you'd like more detail, then say in the comments.


More and more authors are choosing to self-publish for numerous reasons.

  • You have complete control. Over everything! Content, cover, marketing, formatting
  • No painful long waits to hear back from publishers
  • You work to your own time-frame. No super-stressful deadlines.
  • It's great if, like me, you love marketing and thinking up interesting new ways to push your product.

  • You have complete control. Hang on a minute! Wasn't this under the pro list. It depends on the type of person you are whether this is a pro or a con, honestly.
  • It can be very expensive. You'll want to hire an editor, a cover designer, a proofreader etc. and it all adds up.
  • It can be a headache trying to get into author groups, and bookstores (*see rant later)

Indie Publishing

This is tricky as indie publishing means different things to different people. To me, it means when you set up your own publishing company, not just yourself, but with other people too. For others, it means a small publishing company.

  • Friendly atmosphere
  • You have a lot of creative control
  • You have a certain amount of security when you're in business with other like-minded people
  • Opportunity to develop your business (as Crowvus is doing right now, hoping to sign our first non-Crowvus author next year)
  • Feed off each other's areas of expertise. If someone's particularly good at copy-editing, get them to do your blurb.

  • There are setup costs involved, but it tends to be shared more evenly.
  • Again, it's difficult getting into bookstores
  • There isn't a dedicated person for your book, who is available 24/7. This means you're having to do a lot of the marketing yourself.

Traditionally Published

This is a coveted position by a lot of authors. I don't see it myself, but I do know the benefits to it!

  • It's certainly the most cost-effective method, and you don't have to pay for your own books to be printed, or for a cover designer, etc. You might even get a handsome advance.
  • With traditional publishing comes a certain amount of credibility
  • It's easier to get your book on physical shelves, and you don't have to deal with this side of things
  • The publishing company deals with the marketing to businesses.

  • You still have some say in the cover etc. but this is limited
  • Editor's piles are so high, you will have to wait a long time to hear back from a publisher, if they get back at all.
  • You'll still have to do a lot of marketing yourself, and you'll probably have to pay for this.

So, the three options each have their good and bad points, but it's really up to you which route you choose!

Some author groups and awards are incredibly outdated and refused to even consider self-published authors. This means that these groups and awards only represent a small slice of the rich variety of writing that's available out there. Some people even get rather aggressive about their anti-self-published stance. I have seen one award which said that if a self-published author enters, then they will name and shame them, or words to that effect. Amazing! And people actually enter these awards?

Clemency Crow


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