Home Forums Publishing Traditional vs. Self-Pub What Have Your Experiences Been Like?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Daeus 3 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #45835

    LivyLynn
    @livylynn
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 21

    Hey there!
    So, I would LOVE to hear what some of your experiences have been like with pursuing traditional publishing, vs self-publishing. Do you have a favorite? Have you tried both?
    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences on the subject! 🙂

    #45840

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3842

    @livylynn I have self-published once.

    When I first started writing, I really wanted to be traditionally published, but I eventually did a 180. The reason was simple. Since I was a beginning author, publishers would want to see my platform before they published me. And if I already had a platform, why not self-publish? After all, self-publishing has much higher royalty rates.

    Now, there are three reasons I think it might be reasonable to the go the traditionally published route.
    1. Insecurity. If you feel terrified of publishing your novel, having a publisher telling you they’ve accepted your book could be a huge confidence builder.
    2. Platform building. When you get traditionally published, you don’t have to find every reader all by yourself. Your publisher will do at least some of that for you. Plus, they can probably get you promotional opportunities you couldn’t have gotten al by yourself. If you can capture these new readers on your email list, it could help prepare you to successfully self-publish in the future. I’m not recommending anyone use this strategy, but I think it’s worth considering.
    3. You can get a really lucrative deal.

    So, my experience. When I launched my book, I had the ebook priced at $0. The goal was to get a lot of downloads and drive people from there to my email list. Well, it didn’t work very well. I got 2,000 downloads, but maybe only 40 subscribers out of that. I’ve heard since then that in order to keep your sales rank with a free book, you really have to get a sales spike of 5,000+. So the launch was not a success, but I did gain some valuable lessons from it. If I had gone the traditional publishing route, my book would still not be published yet and I would not have those valuable lessons.

    Here are a couple of the lessons I learned.
    1. Don’t skimp on early reviewers. I got 18 to sign up and 10 left a review. Aim to have 100+ people sign up.
    2. When someone clicks on your book page, you have three seconds to get them hooked. To account for this, I added a single line to the front of my synopsis that’s very attention-grabbing. I also made the font very large so that anyone who clicked on my book page couldn’t help but read it right away.
    3. Make sure your cover shouts out your genre. You can have an awesome cover that won’t attract any readers because it doesn’t tell them what type of story lies beneath it.

    #46006

    Josiah DeGraaf
    @aratrea
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 596

    Those are really helpful thoughts @daeus. If you ever wanted to do a full article detailing what you learned from your self-publishing experience, I think that would be a pretty helpful article premise.

    @livylynn I’m still working on bringing my works to publication, but when I do, my plan is to try and pursue both options at once, since I think there’s a lot of value to a hybrid approach for drawing in readers.

    Tagging @hope for her perspective on self-publishing

    #46009

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3842

    @aratrea Hmm. Maybe I will. I think I’ll wait till I finish my upcoming book launch though. 😉

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