Below is an excerpt from my Goodreads group discussing the continued debate between the “Self-Published” vs. “Traditionally Published” argument. I love engaging with others from the industry and thought this may be something those not on goodreads would like to read as well.
You can view the whole discussion by following this link: Click Here(Excerpt From Goodreads)
I do love myself a good discussion. One where opinions and observations are not ridiculed and then the authors bullied online. Intellectual discussions, debates really, from opposing sides who can engage in professional, respectful and honest exchanges of ideas related to publishing. That being said I am going to step out on a limb here and give my two cents (for what they are worth)…
I have worked in publishing since my senior year of college. After nearly four and a half years of working this new era publishing world I will never forget my very first experience with the “traditional” side of publishing.
In 2010 at my first book fair ever, Book Expo America, I was a doe eyed girl fresh out of college ready to conquer the world. I loved the energy in the air, I was excited to have a job when so many of my other classmates were not as lucky. I was eager to learn and network.
Well let me tell you how that went….
I walked into my first meeting proudly boasting our company and our authors and ready to do business. Little did I know I was about to paint a scarlet letter right smack dab on the middle of my forehead. I went on to describe that we were a Self-Publisher who utilized Print on Demand technology and were a 100% virtual organization that loved the idea/concept of e-books. I will never forget that feeling of being looked down upon for these business model traits for as long as I live. In fact it sparked my mission (and passion) to permanently disrupt this industry and show those who haven’t changed in 100+ years that they are old, I am new and digital is the future.
We are certainly still in that fight but I think it is important to realize that there are major shifts in perception among the B2B side (or professional/traditional publishing professionals) regarding the credibility of self-publishing.
As mentioned above traditional publishers care about profit, marketing potential and advertising. Fact.
However lets use the cliché example of “Fifty Shades of Grey”. That book was profitable, marketable and acquired by Random House at a fraction of the typical acquisition price. Traditional, or the Big 6/5, publishers realize there are gold minds being produced by the self-publishing community and the profit margins are exponential if acquisition occurs just before critical mass.
This year at the Frankfurt Book Fair I saw, first hand, a shift in the perception of self-publishing towards a direction I think we all have hoped for. The B2B side of publishing is coming around and for the first time in this digital revolution being self-published is no longer something to hide, or try to mask. You can lead in with it and to some that is now perceived as a strength.
If you are self-published you own your rights and you are the direct decision maker. Distributors and book buyers are realizing they can go direct to authors rather than have to work through the 20 middlemen that the larger more traditional publishers employ as gate keepers. It use to take years to get books published, now you can literally do an e-book overnight. The publishing world is changing and although we may still have a ways to go in regards to mass approval by the B2B side of publishing there is a shift taking place and that my friends is what we are after, isn’t it?
– Kait Neese