Self-Pub and Agents
Oh my heck, I can't believe it! Weebly is working! This is me writing my blog on the actual desktop site. If you could only see the tears I'm crying, you'd understand the pure joy that is running through me right now.
Jokes aside, it's good to type on my regular keyboard and have full access to everything. And I'm not going to waste it, either. Today I'm talking about agents again. More specifically, about whether they're right for you/me.
Now, obviously I'm right in the middle of querying so, the main question of right for me should be obvious: I don't know. Yes, that's correct, until I've been through the querying process and actually talk to some of these agents, I just won't know. Do I want one? Absolutely. Is it the right move for my novel? That remains to be seen. But for those who don't know about agents and self-publishing, I've done a little research and I'll share what I've learned.
To terribly oversimplify the process, it comes down to cost vs. control. Self-publishing has lost the stigma it once had and is a perfectly viable path for authors. Just ask Jenna Moreci. No, seriously, check out her YouTube page. I've pimped it before and with good reason. She really helps with the writing process, but above that, she's self-published. She's laid out all the pros and cons and, if you're looking for the abridged version, here you go.
You have a lot more control as a self-published author. Everything is in your hands. You decide the price of the books down to the cover art. Furthermore, when someone actually buys your book, you keep so much more of the money. But here's the catch. Your initial investment can be insane. We're talking $5-10,000 insane. You have editors (because no one is giving good reviews to a book with bad spelling, grammar, and continuity), artists for your book cover (yes, people do judge books by their cover), and of course, the publishing costs. Those are all on you, but if you can manage it, the rewards can be sweet.
Now, if you go traditional, you have some advantages. They usually provide the editor. The artist for your cover, too. Of course, they will likely decide on the cover art. And the price for the books. And even the title. Heck, they may insist on you losing a character you really liked. But your investment is minimal. Except for marketing. Turns out, either way, marketing is probably going to be on you. Publishers will give something, but you'll need to market yourself. Website, Twitter, book signings, the whole shebang.
Of course, you can get a nice advance from a publisher... that may not equal a years work at minimum wage. And then you'll only earn royalties after a set amount of books have sold. I've heard of some authors getting their annual check for $10.
So which way is the right way? That's completely up to you and your needs. I just hope I managed to give you something worthwhile in your search. As for me, it's back to the query letters.
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Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.