I write a lot about the business of digital publishing for my day job. With some regularity, I find myself writing about the wonderful world of self-publishing and railing against the gatekeepers–otherwise known as editors and publishers. But the non-work me still wants an editor to say, “Yes, this is good. I will take it to my boss, fight for it, and put my company’s massive resources behind publishing and marketing it.” More importantly, I kind of want to walk into a store and find my book on a shelf.
But self-publishing and the traditional agent-editor-publisher route are not the options today. Now you can post your book on Amazon and let people vote it into publication. Many publishers have digital only imprints, especially for the romance genre.
What I’m trying to say here is that there are a lot of publishing options available to the modern romance writer. Deciding which one to take will be tough–or maybe not, if no one wants to publish your book.
Self-publishing has its benefits. Writers typically get to keep more of the money from each sale–which is great if you can get people to actually buy your book. But in order to get people to find and buy your book you have to take the marketing on yourself.
When you choose to take a more traditional route, you don’t necessarily have to wait for royalties to start coming in–you may get an advance. The publisher will also take on a lot of the marketing burden, which is great for those of us who already have full-time jobs.
And there are the agents…
Some publishing companies will accept unsolicited, un-agented manuscripts. Others will not. Agents can help you get the best publishing deal possible, but they also take some of your earnings. And they represent another layer between you and your end goal of getting published. It is worth taking some time to think about whether or not an agent is right for you or not.
I write all of this knowing full well that I haven’t decided which road I want to take. I’d love to hear stories from writers with experience on all of these publishing paths!