As I sip my coffee this morning, my thoughts go to the controversial subject of 'self-publishing vs. traditional publishing' and I wonder about how it will be twenty years from now.
First of all the eBook is gaining more and more momentum right along with the number of e-readers, the devices that allow you to download the eBook and read on the go. I, for one, love my Kindle device. Friends of mine have Kindles, Nooks, Sony Readers, etc. to use when traveling rather than carry weighty books. Now with the iPad and other tablets, even phones, the eBook device base has broadened and is steadily growing. Downloading eBooks at discount prices on a light-weight device is the wave of the future, whether you want it to be or not.
So, with this influx of eBooks comes the publishing of eBooks. Many authors are asking why is it necessary to spend the time and energy pitching their manuscripts to the traditional publishing company when all they have to do is upload it themselves to the various digital device platforms? And now there are ways to upload only once to an interface for all the devices - for example http://www.smashwords.com .
But doing it this way, going the self-publishing eBook direction, doesn't provide you with a book in hand, a hard copy. You know . . . an actual book for your own personal library shelves.
However, there are self-publishing companies who will see to it that your book is published in hard copy as well as eBook format. Making it quick and simple for you either way, both ways.
But, if you'd rather go the duration, submit your manuscript for acceptance to a traditional publishing company and wait and wait and wait, with the possibility of being rejected time and time again, then by all means go that route.
I'm just being realistic and honest here. Do you know how many manuscripts are submitted each year? Over two million! Do you know how many books are actually published in the U.S.A. each year, including self publications? Around 275,000. So you do the math. It's like the lottery.
But, like you, I still hang on to that dream of being offered a major book deal and becoming a best-seller, selling millions of books and being the next J. K. Rowling - 450 million in sales ... or one of the following best-known writers of all time:
Agatha Christie - 4 billion in sales
Barbara Cartland - 1 billion in sales
Daniele Steele - 600 million in sales
Stephen King - 350 million in sales
Jackie Collins - 400 million in sales
Nora Roberts - 300 million in sales
John Grisham - 250 million in sales
James Patterson - 150 million in sales
Debbie Macomber - 140 million in sales
Catherine Cookson - 120 million in sales
Ken Follett - 100 million in sales
Mary Higgins Clark - 100 million in sales
Just a few of my favorites.
But let's not forget there is the premise that persistence pays ... we've all heard that one. And with the authors above, guess what? It did pay. They persisted in their search for traditional publishers that had faith in their work. Although agents do play an important role in this.
Always, it depends on the route you want to take. It's your choice. Like I said, though, it's like the lottery, with around 200,000 out of 2 million titles a year receiving contracts from traditional publishers.
It's your call, of course, but the world of publishing is changing drastically. Do your research.