Publishing: the Beauty & the Beast

As many of you know, I've been seeking publication for a few years now. I've read everything I could get my hands on about which route is best. Not long ago, the best option was ALWAYS traditional. Now it's not so clear. So as any good geek would do, I started a pros and cons list.



  • No out of pocket costs on formatting, cover, and editing.
  • Expert advice from seasoned professionals.
  • Book can be listed in a book store! (Big A+)
  • Vetting from the pros. Our fragile confidence sometimes needs someone who knows what they're talking about to tell us we're enough.
  • No stigma. Feel more like the REAL deal. Feels more like a career than a venture.
  • They have unlimited resources.
  • Still have to market my book.
  • Have no control.
  • May be obligated to offer first dibs on forthcoming books. 
  • Have to obey most if not all editorial suggestions, despite personal feelings. 
  • Receive little one-on-one attention. 
  • Communication will probably be slower, but may be more professional.
  • A lot of profits go to both the publisher and the agent.

Small Press

  • No upfront publishing costs.
  • More likely to find a home for book.
  • Improves the stigma.
  • May help find readers, if the press has dedicated followers.
  • Provides editing, formatting, cover, etc.
  • Communication will likely be more personal.
  • Still have to pay for marketing.
  • Have limited control.
  • Make significantly less per book than with self-publishing.
  • Anything a small press can provide can be outsourced with the appropriate funds.
  • Most only publish paperback and e-books.


  • Have all the control.
  • Can choose favorite artists, editors, and platforms to publish.
  • Will obtain all net profits.
  • No worries about rejections.
  • The pride in knowing you can actually make it happen.
  • Still can publish hardbacks with IngramSpark.
  • Have to front all the costs.
  • Must research A LOT to find the most professional way to publish.
  • Despite great advancements, there is still somewhat of a stigma (mostly with other writers and publishing professionals) with self-publishing.
  • The only vetting one will find is through the readers and their ratings.

There is so much to take into account when choosing to publish, no matter which route you take. A writer can be successful with either one of these. Publishing is constantly evolving, and what's true today may be completely different a year from now. Also, what's true to me may not be for you. What's important is that we, as writers, continue to support authors from every publishing background because we're all in this together. 


L. Shanna said...

I suggest contacting Wise Ink Creative Publishing. They have been great for me. Zero regrets from this indie writer ;)

Vanessa Eccles said...

Thanks for the suggestion, L. Shanna. I'll be sure to look into them. :)

Bill D said...

I decided to self-publish for a few reasons:
1. I'm not cut out to become a full-time writer.

2. I don't think my book, which is adult science fiction, would be in a genre that would attract attention from agents or publishers these days.

Reasons I'm glad I self-published:
1. Writing a novel was a personal goal and self-pub finished it off nicely.

2. I can show people online (Amazon) or physical (CreateSpace) copies of my book!

Reasons I regret self-publishing:
1. Kind of expensive.

2. Formatting for print and ebook are very different, very time-consuming, and surprisingly difficult!

3. I still don't really love the cover! (but don't want to spend more money)

I'm happy to talk about my experience, and I'm also willing to help people if I can!

So glad I found your blog through a connection on Miss Snark's First Victim

Vanessa Eccles said...

Hi Bill, thank you for commenting and sharing your experience. Do you have a blog or website? I'd like to stay connected.

Bill D said...

I'm not your typical writer by any stretch of the imagination. I don't have a blog and my only website is, where I sell some stuff. (You might be interested in the Novel Revision Database that I wrote while mired in the revision process)

You can find some info about me on my Amazon author's page:

Mostly I read other people's blogs and communicate through comments! You can always e-mail me with questions or comments, too. billdenise3 [at] gmail

Vanessa Eccles said...

Awesome! Thanks. I'll definitely check out your Amazon page too.