Indie or Traditional Publishing?


Indie or Traditional Publishing?

eBook and self-publishing have inevitably impacted on sales within the closed snobbish world of traditional publishing and not before time. 

Indie or Traditional Publishing?Inevitably it has drawn an awful lot of criticism recently. A minute percentage of it is justified, but most are not.

I read recently that eBook sales far outweigh conventional paper books. Former readers of traditionally published books are now embracing eBooks, particularly in the United States. Here in the United Kingdom prejudice still rules. As a consequence eBook sales lag behind.

From the point of view of a writer who has enthusiastically embraced the new way over the almost claustrophobic rigidity of so-called conventional publishing, I for one am happy to be considered an Indie.

The rules which most writers within the traditional publishing scene have to agree to when signing that contract, in effect mean they are nothing more than poorly paid slaves, dependent on the whim of their publisher.

If a writer is in the stable of one of the big six, the idea of an advance measured in the thousands of pounds or dollars may sound good at first, but the royalties they get are pitiful compared to what an Indie earns.

Yes, I agree that a lot of self-published books should never have been published. But equally, a large number maintain a high standard. The same can be said for traditionally published books.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James is a prime example of utterly abhorrent trash published traditionally. You know that the big six publishing houses are desperate when such a monumentally bad book becomes a multimillion bestseller. Am I jealous? No, not at all.

If all writers are honest, none of us, whether Indie or establishment, can truly say we are happy with the final version of our work, be it hardback, paperback, or eBook.

On reading the product of all our hard work, each one of us can see areas within the book where we could/should have made a correction, or either added or deleted a section. Releasing our work as an eBook means we can make those corrections at no cost while the big six cannot.

So, for all of you in the traditionally published world out there, before you heap any more bile and invective upon indies, why not clean up your own backyard first?

  1. Avatar of Rick Carufel
    Rick Carufel says

    I agree 100% Jack. When the big 6 have to resort to publishing “mommy porn” to make a profit you know they are in big trouble.

  2. Avatar of Alan Place
    Alan Place says

    Hey guys, If you ain’t selling it makes no difference LOL 🙂

  3. Avatar of Paula Shene
    Paula Shene says

    Precisely Jack and said in your tone, concisely.

    I am friends with several authors who came out of trads because of rigidity and low returns. Some are authors that I’ve been reading for years.

    I did not understand that idea until I had my first child’s book published traditionally but, found as a newcomer on the scene, I was given a pat on the head, told terrific job, now go sell yourself.

    I’ve also seen such a small return, even knowing there are sales because of resales, and because people when meeting for the first time will tell me, they have my book, and it was great. My contract has a clause that if a certain amount is not reached in a month, I would not receive any proceeds; no rollover, no money.

    It takes time to learn marketing. I’ve been at it for several years but only recently have gotten into the trend of pushing on towards the goal.

    Of course, I can use my relationship with a spouse with dementia – a full time, most of the time, job. A situation where I get a little sleep so wander around in a daze on occasion. And the point I am disabled and there are times I cannot type. But, lots of writers are in that position.

    I am happy to see when unknowns become known, and the only reason I can see going back into trad publishing would be the advertising bucks behind the product. But those are not invested unless one knows someone in the position to help that author or said author has attracted a wide readership causing someone in marketing in one of the houses to say, “Hey, look, this one can bring in the bucks.”

    Make no mistake, writing is the lifeblood of an author, but making money is the rationale for publishing houses.

    1. Avatar of Jack Eason
      Jack Eason says

      Unfortunately Paula, most publishers view their stable as nothing more than cash cows, despite what has been said elsewhere in response to another article. As an indie, you rule your own destiny. 😉

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