The discussion on whether to wait for New York or to self-publish is as vibrant as ever on social networks. I saw someone tweet “If you self-publish, you’re an idiot” the other day.
Severely judgmental, but interesting. It speaks to the lack of respect some people (many people) have for self-publishing. However, there are many self-published authors sharing their successes, and their struggles. Some are selling hundreds and thousands of books, others are selling a handful.
So, should you wait an publish with New York or should you self-publish? The answer: it depends.
It truly depends on your goals.
If you want your book to rocket to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list (NYTBSL), a New York Big Boy (NYBB) is your best shot, and even with a NYBB behind you, it’s still a long shot. It happens every day, of course, but the ratio of authors on the NYTBSL to all authors published by NYBB is very low. Additionally, contrary to popular belief, being on the NYTBSL does not make a career. Sometimes it doesn’t even make the author much money. And if it does help you earn out your advance, it is unlikely to provide residual income.
Google this: “Realities of a Best Seller Royalty Statement” and see what some best-selling authors have to say about it.
If you want a hefty five or six figure advance, a NYBB is your best shot. That said, such large advances have become the exception rather than the norm. With the recent changes seen in the industry since 2009, fewer and fewer new authors are being signed. Publishers aren’t taking the risks they once were, and that means sticking with known authors who bring in the bucks. This is bad news for the new author and the little guy. Even if you are one of the fortunate ones taken under the large wing of a NYBB, advances are more in the $10,000 range, often for two books, paid out in installments over a year or longer.
This does not a living make.
If you want your book out within the next three-five years or you want more than 2-7% of the net (cover price minus printing & other costs), then you don’t want a NY Big Boy.
The above is an excerpt from Publishing & Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author.
Whatever publishing path you choose, and they are all valid, know the pros and cons of each. Learn the common pitfalls to avoid, and above all, have a good, well-polished manuscript before you seek out publishing in whatever form.
What are some of the pros and cons you can think of with going through a New York Publisher? What about self-publishing?