Photo by Ewa Romanowicz
Whatever your choice, you’ll still spend a lot of time editing your manuscript to make it the best it could possibly be. You’ll be working with the editor and spending countless hours re-reading your work.
Here are some highlights on how you’ll spend your time in traditional vs self-publishing:
If you choose to go the route of traditional publishing, you’ll consume an extensive amount of time finding a publisher. It’s your job as an author to find publishers that are interested in you, your genre, and your book. Due to the large number of submissions the publishers get, they require detailed applications with very specific guidelines. Those who fail to follow the requirements are automatically rejected. Some publishers will take months to reply to your submission regardless of whether or not they’re interested. First time authors should expect a lot of rejections, so get ready for them, but keep moving forward and keep trying. You will find a publisher that will eventually help you to get your book out.
With self-publishing you are on a straight line to publishing. You do not need to look for a publisher since you are the publisher. Once your manuscript is complete, you can go straight to hiring an editor and skip the searching stage. There is, however, a catch. The majority of first time authors have no clue how to publish their own book, so you’ll have to spend time doing research, listening to podcasts, following other self-published authors, and researching service providers such as editors, designers, marketers.
Regardless of which path you take, publishing your second book will be much quicker. There will be less time wasted finding a publisher or service provider. The experience you gained publishing the first book will have paid off.
Some writers think that self-publishing will mean having to work harder to make their book known to the public. I think there is some misconception here, because traditional publishers can’t do much without the writer's involvement. They’ll send your book to local bookstores, and they might put out some press releases. In the end, however, it’s you, the author, who will gain publicity by attending the author’s readings and signings. It will be you attending the conferences and praising your book. You’ll spend a lot of time on this, and unless you are an established author, you may not be able to afford to say no to these events.