I have some experience with small, niche publishers (I write LGBT romance under a pen name). It’s always been kind of a dream of mine to see my work in bookstores, however, and I have a bunch of completed and in-progress YA and MG manuscripts that I think would fare best traditionally pubbed.
However, I am curious as to the amount of work required to do well with traditionally published novels once you actually get the contract. My number one goal with my writing (other than the sheer enjoyment of writing) is money. I don’t care about being well known, I just want to make money on my hobby if possible, and even now the best way to do that in the YA and MG world still seems to be traditional publishing.
However, I don’t want my hobby to affect my performance in my job in academia (academia is not stable, so if I lose my grant funding/can’t get a grant, that’s a problem. And I very much doubt I’d be one of the lucky few who can support themselves solely on writing). Academia is demanding, and I worry about navigating trade publishing alongside the demands of academia. Small pubs in niche genres are fine–a blog tour here, an online interview to fill out there, and bam, 1k per book.
But how much more intensive (and potentially monetarily rewarding) would being trade pubbed be? Would my time get sucked up in interviews and social media? How many hours on average per week are expected of a trade-pubbed author to do “the business” side of things–advertising, interacting on social media, traveling for interviews, etc? Do publishers suddenly demand books in a series in a certain amount of time? Is the money worth it? Does it affect performance at your day job?