Before you even read this, it's worth checking out Nathan Bransford's post on the new species of writer that has sprung up since the start of the move to e-books - the Self-Published E-Book Millionaire.
Lots of people are making lots of money on the Kindle. Some are traditionally published and branching out. But increasingly, young authors (Amanda Hocking is my age - ahem - or at least she is what my age was until it treacherously altered itself last month) are choosing to skip the whole query-cold-sweat-panic-disappointment-repeat cycle altogether, and are going straight to the consumer with their stories.
I'm not even ready to query, so why am I thinking about this?
Because unpublished writers, especially since the world of publishing decided to start blogs and tell us everything, feel we have to think about these things. No one wants to stumble blindly on to the wrong publication path. Elle has a post about choosing to turn away from a publishing house to pursue a career agented by someone who shared her vision for her book as it is, and that post should be required reading for every unpublished writer. She has chosen to pursue what she calls 'the book my heart was really in.'
We have to strive for the career we really want, not settle for second best.
I want to be traditionally published. I grew up with paper books, I love them, I venerate them as cultural objects (I feel sure I stole that phrase from the Guardian. . .). I also want the endorsement that comes from an organisation saying 'Yes, we will invest money in this person.' Mostly, though, I want editorial input from someone experienced.
If I can't have those things, I'm happy to look into other options. There is nothing wrong with being successful through self-publishing. I'll be very happy if that is what happens for me. But I am going after my first choice first.
I can see why self-publishing would be someone's first choice. There is so much more control, creatively and financially, and it has proven very lucrative for lots of authors. It just isn't my first choice, but it's a close second these days.
How do you guys feel about self-publishing? Is it your first choice or your last resort?