I’ve just read a very interesting post by Elizabeth Spann Craig. She talks about hybrid authors, that is, those who both self-publish and publish traditionally. She has done both. Long and short, she felt her traditional publishing profile help stimulate her self-published books, which are now selling even better than her trad books.
Okay, not much of the above is a great surprise. And for those of us who have not found our way (or for whom our way has not been found) to traditional publishing, she hints that she senses a swing toward greater initial discovery as a self-published book in the future.
That may or may not be true.
But anyone who contemplates going the traditional publishing route must make a decision. And the single most important element in that decision is the consideration of time. Once you make the decision to hunt for an agent and then a publisher, or even hunt a publisher directly, this is a time-consuming path. Yes, some people have work accepted right away; but really, will that be you? Maybe. But it won’t be me.
For best success in finding an agent, one should utilize the skills of a professional editor. More time. And leaping ahead to that contract with the publisher; how long will it be before the book is released?
My point is this: those authors with a time limit, whatever it may be, are at a disadvantage with traditional publishing. It is possible for the self-published author to have three books on the retail shelves earning 70% before the traditionally published book arrives and begins paying 8%.
But don’t get me wrong; I see advantages to being a hybrid author. My only question is could I live long enough to become one?