Agent/Publisher Search, Writer's Life

I’m Torn

I was all set to go the self-publishing route for my novel, and then my husband started reading/editing it and he said that I should try and resubmit it to agents and go the traditional publishing route. My husband keeps telling me that it’s good enough to try and find an agent, and that it is 110% better than it was two years ago, and I trust his judgement, but at the same time, he’s biased. He told me earlier, that he would have told me if it was garbage, but I really don’t think he would. I don’t think he could even if he wanted to.

There are pros and cons to each option, so I’m using you guys and my way of laying out what those would be. Let me know if you think of/know anything that I’m forgetting. Also, if my understanding of how these things work is wrong, please let me know.

Self-Publishing Pros:

  1. I can publish what I want when I want to.
  2. I’m in complete control over how I want my book to look.
  3. I can use the people I want to, to make my cover, edit, and help with layouts.
  4. A lot of people have made the switch to e-readers, so I would have that market.

Self-Publishing Cons:

  1. I have to do all the marketing/self-promotion myself.
  2. The cost to print a book is ridiculous.
  3. I have to pay those people out of my own pocket to make my cover, edit, and help with layouts.
  4. It would be harder (but not impossible?) to get my book in stores.

Traditional Publishing Pros:

  1. My agent will do all the marketing for me.
  2. It would be easier to get my book out in stores.
  3. It will be easier to keep my identity a secret (I feel like Super-Man).
  4. They could probably better identify what my genre is. (I’m leaning toward, clean romance, fantasy, and new adult).

Traditional Publishing Cons:

  1. Query letters suck.
  2. Rejection.
  3. They will perhaps make changes to my book that I disagree with/don’t want to do.
  4. I would have to play by their rules, instead of making up my own, in regards to genre classification, deadlines, author events(?)

What would you do if you were in my shoes? Would you try and submit it to an agent, or would you just self-publish anyway? I really could go either way.



6 thoughts on “I’m Torn”

  1. I would amend part of the “pros” options to traditional publishing: your agent will market to publishers for you and your publisher will do some marketing for you just to make the book sell, but you will still be expected to put like 220% into it to get as many sales as possible.

    I’m pro traditional publishing. It’s long. It’s difficult. But it sounds like it’s by far the best way to go. I would say edit, do a crap ton more research about querying, and send out for another round of searching for agents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the input!
      So either way I’m going to have to market. :-/ And so far I have two different sets of eyes reading looking for typos, I hate quotation marks, just FYI, so editing shouldn’t be a problem. A month ago I thought about sending another round of letters out, but then I got lazy and (decided) to skip that part.


    2. No judgement, but why do you think it’s the best way to go? I’m genuinely curious, since like most Indies I’m in a bubble of other like minded people. The author communities I’m involved in have very few Trad Pub authors, and the ones who were (Dean Wesley Smith, Katheryn Rusch) are very much against it. And since those were big name authors, I can’t just discount it as sour grapes. So as someone who’s for it, I would love to hear a reason? Again, I know everyone’s situation is different so I don’t think you’re wrong. 🙂


  2. First, the cost of print books isn’t that high with so many companies using a print on demand model. And to make it easier, a lot of them offer the publisher copies at reduced cost so you could sell signed copies of them on your blog or in person at events.

    Second, you missed the option of using a small press publisher which often splits the difference between the two worlds.

    Third, many of the Trad Pub’s have ebook only options too for new authors and books stores across America (and beyond) are dying. Even if you get into one, which I admit would be a huge boost to your ego, there is no guarantee that it would equal sales. Again, these stores are closing by the boatload and there’s a reason for it.

    Fourth, the Trad Pub companies don’t seem to be adapting to the market as well and would give you no control over the pricing. This means they’re often over priced, and many readers will pass you by. You can charge more when you’ve built an uber audience of raving fans, but you have to lure them in first and posh pricing won’t cut it.

    Fifth, with Indie Publishing you can change the covers and blurbs to keep older books relevant and/or discount the first book in a series to get them hooked.

    Sixth, you are ABSOLUTELY right that the covers and editing can get pricey so having someone else front the cost at first can be a huge thing. I got lucky, the small press I publish with handled that.

    Seventh, your follower Alex Faber is right that either option you choose requires you to market and brand your own stuff. That’s the deal, at least until you reach King, Patterson or JK rankings. If you get there, remember your friends! 😉

    Eighth, the easiness or hardness of keeping your privacy will be the same for both options. Just use a pen name if you’re worried about privacy.

    Ninth, I would think either option would want you to know your genre and the niche market you are writing for? I could be wrong, but I knew going in that I wanted SciFy so this was never an issue for me. If you’re looking for help on it, there are plenty of quality Facebook author groups I can point you too. This would be useful information for you, regardless of how you publish your stories.

    Overall, I can’t tell you what I would do if I was YOU but I CAN tell you what I DID. I signed with a small press publisher and my next book was with another small press. I get the best of both worlds and I’m having a blast. I avoided the drama and politics of the Trad Pub life and my release times aren’t slowed by forces outside of what happens on my PC. What is best for you? Based on your list I would suggest a small press but I’m biased. I don’t think I have it in my to cowtow to the agent and everyone else in Trad Pub, but I won’t bad mouth it either. It’s not a one size fits all journey, so in the end you have to decide. Hope this helps!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for all that information! I’ll let everyone know what I decide to do. I saw a different blog post about this too and I’m taking that into consideration as well. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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