Keep an open mind, learn about both sides of the industry, and WATCH over the next few years. Anything can happen.
Personally, I think the validation of a single person (or a few, if you count agent and editor) is less important than the validation given by a large number of readers who have bought the book. A traditionally published book that moves a few hundred copies and has a mediocre review average has less ‘validation’ than a self-published book that moves thousands and has a great review average. Validation comes from the marketplace . . . not an individual.
If you do royalty free images, it’s best to go to a reputable source like iStock which is a low cost subsidary to Getty Images. You pay but at least you know that you’re paying for the correct license.
It may not be your first, but I’ll bet it’s still within your first million words. And I’d tell an adult the same thing. Early efforts are rarely best efforts. The important thing is to seek out critique and use it. In my experience, that’s what seems to separate the successful writers from those who’ve creatively or professionally plateaued.
I agree with opinions expressed on both sides so far. Adding to my own, there is also another angle to look at Self Publishing - industry understanding.
I self pub for a core reason that I’m learning an industry and having fun knowing it.
Self Publishing is an awesome opportunity and way to learn about the book industry, marketing and actually running a business like a sole trader.
When you become a Self Publisher, you’re effectively becoming a business. You pay taxes on your earnings, you are registered to channels as a publishing brand and so forth.
Like any small business, you run a risk of being at a loss. Everything has a risk and a gain, even traditional publishing.
The benefit of being a Self Publisher/Sole Trader is that you are hands-on; learning what works and what doesn’t. You have to be. It takes a lot of patience, there will be many setbacks, but the joys of when you succeed and (succeed well - still getting to that stage) is beyond satisfaction.
If you should receive a traditional book offer after self publishing for a while, I’d imagine you would be in an extremely advantaged position because of industry insight gained as an Indie Author.
Having said this, I also admire authors who choose to go down the traditional route. I admire the drive and the determination to be part of a big name organization.
Neither way is easy. Both require resilience, patience and a solution focused approach.
Half of traditionally published books fail to profit, but so do more than 90% of self-published books. So validation by a publisher is a decent proxy for validation in the marketplace. You can self-publish a book on your own whim, but it takes buy-in from other people to get a traditionally published book out there.
I’ve actually been in that position, and traditional publishing looks nothing like self-publishing. Especially the logistics of the back end!
If you’re a successful indie publisher, you can carry over your marketing experience and pre-existing readership, but that’s about it.
To be picked up by a traditional publishers means that someone else believes your book has commercial potential. That’s a form of validation, I suppose, but true validation only comes once the book is released and one can see the reviews and sales. If the book does well with readers, then the faith of the author and editor is validated. Up until then the book is still operating on faith, not actual results - just on the faith of someone other than the author. If a self-published book does really well then the faith the author had in their work is validated. I’ve seen trad pubbed books from major publishers get huge advances and flop horribly with readers - do such books still give ‘validation’ . . . or does it just show that the editor was as wrong as the author regarding the book’s potential?
Or another example: a book is picked up by a very small press, and after release sells a few copies, gets a few lukewarm reviews, and then vanishes into obscurity. Does that book have ‘validation’?
Interesting to know. Thanks for sharing this.
Eff it, it’s validation for me.
Same. I, personally, don’t even believe in my own work, so anyone apart from me who does is very validating, even if it’s one stranger on the internet and not even a publisher. If a freaking professional PUBLISHER thought my book was good, I’d be validated forever, honestly
I have been traditionally published, but you have 250 times more followers on Wattpad than I. Which is more validating?
I don’t know because I’ve never been published
Adobe Stock Photo. You sign up and the first month is free. You can download 10 photos a month so you get 10 free photos. But you have to cancel before the 2nd month or they’ll charge you. And you need a credit card.
I believe the ebooks are available forever even if you pull out. I think it’s in their T&Cs. Something about once someone buys one they must support it forever.
And there was something about print as well as it pertains to the used market.
There’s no age requirement for publishing. You can be 15 or 50. But you’re attitude is right on.
Learning about the publishing industry is commendable, but also learn the craft of writing fiction. There are nuances in fiction that you won’t find in other forms of writing.
That’s looking like the best option so far unless my cover maker agrees to make me an original cover for commercial use. Thanks.
Don’t they have to stay on KDP for 90 days or something like that after you unpublish them?
Every “rule” in fiction is a suggestion and not set in stone. Authors break every rule there is. If they’re successful, they’re praised. If they are not, they’re criticized.
And you can use the images from Adobe for a cover even if you cancel at the end of the trial?