General Writing TIps

Traditional or Self-Publish? Oh, the decisions.

I think I’m writing this more for myself than to provide advice, but I when I started this blog I wanted it to be more than just tips. I wanted to share the honest and real things that I am feeling about this process. I have been flipping back and forth between traditional and self-publishing for months. My manuscript is not close to being ready, and maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but this is on my mind today.

I’ve watched Youtube videos, read copious amounts of blogs/books, read every question that had come up in my writing groups and asked for clarification when necessary. With all this information I still find myself indecisive.

At first, I thought I would inevitably self-publish because no publisher is going to pick up a book about vampires. Plus, royalties are higher, and I have complete control over my book. I can pretty much do everything I could with a traditional publisher, except put my book on shelves at brick and mortar stores. With the way of technology that’s not such a big deal. Other than that, it sounds perfect, right?

Well, now I’m not so sure. For me, there is something about Traditional Publishing that seems so official. Like it’s a token of being able to write because someone wants to sell my book. Part of me is excited about the thought of having my books in stores and having a company support my efforts. Then the other part is absolutely terrified. I’m afraid that this is just another endeavor that I won’t be good enough for and despite all my hard work, I will fail.

Then I started thinking about it, and I have never felt this passionate about something. Hell, I just completed a 74,000-word manuscript and I’m fighting with myself to let it rest until I can start tearing it apart on March 20th. It’s something I am not willing to let fail. Once it’s been rewritten, 5…10…15 times (however many it takes), I need to send it out to publishers.

I will get rejections. I promise you that, but I will not let them break me. These rejections are vital and will have areas that I can improve on, and I will use them to better my work and myself as a writer.

How else will I improve? I’m not completely set on Traditional publishing as my final choice, but I know it is a necessary one. I need to know what the industry wants to see. There is no better way to grow than to have your weaknesses exposed and then overcome them.

Either way I choose, I never want to release my work until it is the best it can be. Until I’ve read it so many times that I am confident in every word on the page.

I hope you enjoyed this more personal blog and I look forward to seeing your work in the future. As always don’t forget to follow my page to keep up on the progress of The Siren Project and any writing tips I find along the way. If you have a topic, you would like me to cover on a future blog feel free to drop a comment below, message me on my contact me page or tweet me @shauna_philp.

Happy Writing!


11 thoughts on “Traditional or Self-Publish? Oh, the decisions.

  1. Great post. You and I, as I’ve stated on a previous post of yours, are going through similar thought processes and emotions. Wondering if our stories are strong enough, if the genre is what publishers are looking for, if we’ll get published at all, if we should bypass traditional publishing and go straight down the self publishing route…we’re practically the same person, only you’re much better looking obviously 😂 Seriously though, I’m keeping track of your process because I think I need guidance of some description. Once the flaws in my WIP are fixed I’ll be writing up my letters for publishers. I’ll send and resend for as long as I can handle doing so before thinking about self publishing. I would rather go the traditional route first and self publishing as a backup option.
    My main concern is the length of my WIP. Yours is respectable at 74,000 so length won’t bog you down. Mine is over 300,000 and publishers generally sneer at first time authors writing epic length novels. I can’t shorten it nor turn it into three separate novels either. It’s causing me tremendous headaches, I tell you!

      1. I wrote mine with best selling authors in mind without caring to research what publishers are actually looking for from first time authors. Rather a dumb move on my part :-/ As long as you stay beneath 100k then you should be absolutely fine. I’m excited for you. It’ll be awesome if you get published 🙂

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