Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dealing with Disappointment & Delays - Going with a Small Press versus Self-Publishing

To self-publish, or not to self-publish.

A year ago I had decided I was going to self-publish my novel, ALL THINGS NOW LIVING. A number of agents and editors had told me it was good enough to publish, it just wasn't for them, and several of my friends had had quite good success self-publishing. I thought my book would be better off out there than languishing in a drawer.

Then I got the call. You know. From a publisher who wanted to publish my book. Granted, a small press, but still, a real, traditional publisher.


I was flattered, but didn't sign automatically. I had already begun the self-publication process, but as I reviewed what my self-publishing costs would be, including edits, proof-reading, design and formatting, etc, I realized it would be very easy to spend thousands of dollars to put out a professional, high-quality product.

So I signed. And I was thrilled! I had always wanted a traditional publishing deal, and I had one.

Then came the delays. I wasn't too upset about missing the original release date, as it had always been tentative, but when my second, solid release date passed without the book being finished, I went into a writing funk. I stopped working on my sequel. I didn't post on my blog. When people asked me about my book, I wanted to drop to the floor and curl into a little ball.

The other day a friend asked me if I regretted signing with a small publisher instead of self-publishing. Honestly, even in the midst of disappointment, the answer was no. Even though my book has been delayed, it is still coming out. The edits I got made the book so much better, the design is beautiful, and the formatting is coming along.

I know there are a lot of people out there who have the time and talent to do everything themselves, but that route wasn't the best for me. I am still happy to be with my "little publishing company that accomplished so much and then seemed to go into hibernation", as my editor described her company. Sometimes little things grow big, and slow starts don't mean slow finishes.


Kristin Lenz said...

So many pluses going with a small press. Big delays happen with large publishers too - release dates get pushed back to the following year... Glad to hear your book is still coming. Hope it's smoother sailing from here on out!

Rondi Olson said...

Kristin - One thing that was really encouraging at Wild-Wild Midwest this year was hearing other stories of delay. I guess it doesn't just happen at little publishers! Yes, here's hoping it's easy going from now on. And congratulations on your book! A little frustrating to have the premature release (Thanks again, Amazon) but it looks beautiful. Can't wait to read it. And for those of you lurking, here's a link: