The Publishing Quandary: What would you do?

My CP and I have been discussing the wide world of publishing lately; including all the different ways you can be published. I know every writer (myself included) wants the ultimate dream; to sign with a big name agent and score a deal with one of the publishers in “the big six” ( Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, Random House, and Simon & Schuster). But what happens when that dream begins to seem unreachable?

There are lots of other ways to be published. You could choose to go with a small press, or an E-publisher, or even self publish. So what’s an author to do?

That’s a question only you can answer. It depends on your vision of your work, where you want your career to go, how badly you want to be published, etc. I’m not sure how I feel about it myself. I suspect many authors don’t quite know what they think about these issues.

How do you feel about it? What are your views on the world of publishing? Also, I’m thinking of doing a series of posts, each one covering one if these different aspects of publishing. Would you be interested in that? Let me know!


10 thoughts on “The Publishing Quandary: What would you do?

    • A CP is a critique partner. I feel the same way about an agent. I’m so ready to take the next step, and for me, the next step is an agent. (Or a small press! But hopefully an agent. Still waiting…)

  1. I would love an agent, but I wouldn’t be opposed to small presses/e-pubbing. Self-pubbing would be a major step for me though and I’m not sure I’m ready for that step.

    • I think I feel the same way about self publishing. I know it’s great for some authors, but I think I don’t have enough confidence in myself (and my marketing skills!) to pull it off.

  2. I’ve just come to the hardest decision of my life. I got an offer from a small press company, then an r & r on the full with a larger company. The larger company is really trying to help me take this story as far as it will go, whereas the smaller one was happy with it the way it was. After some soulsearching, I decided to do the r & r and turn the contract down. Amy’s right, you have so much to think about when signing, but the main thing you should keep focused on is how far you want your career to go. For me, the small press might have worked, if I had any marketing skills, but I don’t. Sorry for the ramble :o)

  3. I think self-publishing has a ways to go in terms of quality control/respectability. LOTS of really good stuff is out there, but it’s really hard to get past the “self-published” label. Small presses have published some of my favorite books though…

  4. Interesting post. I think the publishing world is changing quickly and writers have many more options. I’ll be interested to follow this and see what you find out. Me, lately I’m not pushing looking for an agent, nor am I thinking about self publishing or anything else. So I guess my odds for getting published are pretty slim!

  5. I did the full blown self-publish thing on It was a great feel to know I had something in print, however, I found many problems when I ordered the book (no name on spine, small font, etc), things I never stopped to think about. For my second book, I used which is what my blog is about. Its a medium expensive, but so far they have exceeded my expectations. My only concern is marketing. I said it once, I’ll say it again…I am a writer, not marketer.

  6. I went the small press route. I have two books published by them, no agent needed (especially in Canada where they are as rare as the Dodo Bird). I am hoping that having those two titles out there will help with my credentials if I decide to do something different and go with a bigger publishing house for future work. That’s the plan, anyway. I’m lucky that my home town has a Writer’s Guild and a large writing community. We all support each other and one of the largest bookstores is also very supportive, helping local authors with their book launches and providing book-signing sessions in their store. My publisher uses a local design company that did a fantastic job on the cover art, so I’m very pleased with them. I’ve actually received small royalties above my advance, so all is well, so far. The money isn’t enough to retire on, yet, though.

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