Tuesday, June 02, 2015

When to Give Up on Traditional Publishing

Don't surrender too soon, kitty.
I recently attended a small writer's conference that focused on local writers. One session was a panel discussion regarding self-publishing versus traditional publishing. While the majority of writers at the conference were self-published, there was one participant who was trying to go the traditional route. This person asked the panel how long they should attempt to get an agent or publisher before giving up and going to self-publishing. The answer, from the self-published author, was quick. "If you haven't gotten anywhere within one to two years, you should self-publish."

Unfortunately, the traditionally published guests didn't dispute this point. I, on the other hand, had a difficult time staying in my seat. Over and over again at conferences I have heard an entirely different perspective. Most authors spend ten years writing and submitting before they sign a publishing deal.

Ten years.

There are those who get contracts much quicker, of course, and those who take longer, but in general the process is very slow.

There are many good reasons to self-publish, for both the first time author and those who have already been traditionally published. One very bad reason is that you haven't attracted the attention of an agent or editor within a year or two.

If getting a traditional publishing deal is your dream, don't give up too soon. Keep your eye on the goal and hang in there.

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