Self vs. Traditional Publishing

Writerly Rant #50

Cat and Dog Fight by

Cat and Dog Fight by

by M.J. Moores, OCT. Author. Editor. Freelance Writer.

The battle wages on – oh yes, it does – in my head all the time. I’ve done nearly two years of practical research into the world of DIY publishing: I love the control, the micromanaging makes me feel productive, and at the end of a long haul I know I’ll have an amazing book that might be read by my friends and family.


I’ve learned that I’m not a marketer and that marketing your book in general takes a healthy budget of time and money, and even then there are no guarantees.

I’m not a fan of “no guarantees” – if I do the work, I want to see the pay out.

As it is, I’m also not a fan of sitting on the fence – while small publishing has given me a tremendous break in terms of offering me a contract and supporting my writing endeavors, I find that my personal goals (at this stage of the game) are not being met. I’m still spending nearly as much time and money on self-publicity as I would be had I gone DIY, and I’ve had to make compromises along the way.

So what do I want?

“Show me the money!” yells Jerry McGuire.

No, I’m not writing just to make money – I’d be in advertising or copyrighting (or romance) if that were the case. But I need to earn enough money with my writing in order to remain both a stay-at-home mom and a writer, instead of a woman who hates her job but does it because the family needs the extra income. And we really don’t need that much extra… $15,000-$20,000/year would keep my husband nicely in tools and the house in needed renovations, where the mortgage is better balanced and everyone is a little happier for not being so stressed.

But I’ve spent nearly $8,000 on publicity materials, lawyers, writing workshops, conferences, writer’s associations, and literary events since I began this crazy journey… That means I now need to be able to haul in upwards of 25 Grand a year as a writer… that’s part-time pay for full-time work and again…

No guarantees.

So, I’ve decided I need to land myself a top literary agent in the next 8 months (with my new urban paranormal fantasy series) –

……    ……    ……    ……    …..    …..    …..    …….    ……

Okay, now that the laughter has died down, I’ll qualify that with the fact that I’ve spoken with a traditionally published, small-time author who still makes $15,000 – $25,000 on single book advances with her top 5 publisher.

And she said I could be doing the same thing – I just need to persevere and learn how to bite my tongue and nod (because I’ll have even less control with a Big Publisher).

Well that means have patience, right? That’s a fast dying commodity around here. But, I’ve made myself a goal – I will have 3 -4 fiction books published by October 1st, 2015 and I’ll have been shopping for an agent since February 2015.

So, the right goals are set; the right attitude is in place (do or die); and the right to earn money over this next year is still non-existent…

I want to be positive about this, but frankly living with a pessimist/realist has greatly diminished my capacity for hope.

Thank god, I’ll always be stubborn.

Categories: Rants, Writerly Rants

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