The Dilemma

So I might have reached my goal. The problem? I’m not sure if this route is good for me.

Right now I am currently interning at a indie publishing company. The owner of the company says that she will publish my book for me for free, but I’m not sure if I want to indie publish my manuscript.

For those who are unfamiliar with the publishing business, self-publishing or indie publishing is when you pay someone to publish your book for you. Marketing and promoting your book is something that you have to do on your own. Whereas the big publishing houses like Random House, Penguin, etc. helps you market and promote your book. The support of the big publishing houses is comforting, not to mention the advances.

I keep going back and forth with myself as to whether I should indie publish or not. The owner seems nice, but I wonder if I will receive the help and support from this company like I would get with the big publishing companies. As I keep working with her I notice some good things as well as some things raise concern, which is with every business.

So right now I’m conflicted. Should I take my chances and try to get a publishing deal with the big publishing houses? Or should I give the little guy (or woman) a try?

A part of me feels like God put me in this position for reason, but determining as to whether this is a learning experience or if this is the right choice for me has been tricky to figure out. One side of me says take a chance with this company and give them a shot. But the other side says don’t jump on this first offer you get.

What shall I do?

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6 comments

  1. Desmond Lewis · June 28, 2011

    Pray is the most important action you can take to increase your ability to making a wise decision. I believe you have to tread carefully with this one. She’s giving you an opportunity and those are rare but I know a guy who tried to publish a math book independently and failed because of all the other factors (marketing, printing, branding, etc…) Wait if you are confident that you will work with a big publisher but if landing a deal with a big publishing company is hard maybe you should try it on your own. Regardless to which direction you choose, avoid anything that can cause you to go into debt. I wish you the best.

  2. This is a big problem… follow your heart. Your name will be in the big lights soon enough. 🙂 good luck

  3. Rachel Weiss · June 28, 2011

    I also think that you should follow your heart and your gut. If you have to debate whether this is a good idea or not then it probably isn’t the right thing . You have time on your side to find the perfect opportunity to get your book published. Down the road if you have exhasted all of your options then you might want to think about going the self publishing route but right now the world is wide open.

    I have always believed that good things happen to those who wait. Pray about it and see what happens.

  4. kerrylee · June 28, 2011

    I wouldn’t self publish. My opinion!

  5. Star · June 29, 2011

    I would look into a smaller project first before going full speed ahead with your primary stories. See what happens with the smaller project and if it takes wings and flies then great. If not, you will have wiggle room to seek a larger publisher on your main projects. Also don’t forget to make sure your copyrights are protected. I think this is the most pressing concern that I see!

  6. daretolivenow · June 30, 2011

    It might depend on what the subject matter of the book is. If it is fiction then you’ll have to see if you have plans to continue and make a series out of it. If so, a big publisher might be best since that can get you the big money if people buy/read it. If you have many stories but none that tie in, maybe to start you might want to try self-publishing, make a name for yourself, and a big company might approach you).

    If it is non-fiction, you might ask what the subject matter is. Is it something that you offer expertise on and want to help with? If so, self-publishing is probably good since they will read the book (if it is marketed right) and come to you for help. (people will tend to pay you to do something if they see you as an expert at it.) If it is non-fiction but of some other nature (biography, philosophy, poetry, etc.) that would be a bit harder. You would have to convince bigger publishers that you really have something unique, marketing to the publishers, in a sense.

    ask yourself these questions

    -why should someone read what you have?
    -if you do get published, then what?

    Facebook, Youtube, WordPress, and other sites are practically vital for marketing. If the book is a niche area, you want to be sure you’re already familiar with the territory. Explore other blogs, people with similar interests, etc. They will help you with ideas if you need it, but most people are very willing to help promote others with similar interests.

    You could take a portion of your book, one that you consider one of the best parts, and make a pdf e-book out of it. Take that, distribute it around, put it on your website. The idea is to give people something useful from your book, but also leave them wanting the rest. It might give you an idea of how well it might be received in print.

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