I'm conflicted. I'm getting to the 1/2 way point in my novel Out of the Shadows, and I'm torn on what to do with it when it's done. How do I want to release it? There's the classic method, send it off to agents, cross your fingers, have them send it off to publishers, cross your fingers, then wait, and wait, and wait. Or there's the kindle self-pub method, stick it online, market, market, market, and cross your fingers.
People tend to be in one camp or the other. Either they think self-pubbing is for the desperate and untalented, OR they think that letting a publishing house control and profit off of your work is stupid. I don't know where I stand.
I believe that some of the traditional publishing methods are inefficient. They could definitely stand to have their entire business completely remodeled. Just because a business is running in the black, doesn't mean that it couldn't be streamlined. It also takes forever to start seeing any actual money.
When it comes to kindle publishing, I believe that making a self-pubbed kindle book profitable over the long term would be hard. Marketing, networking and the like is fantastic if you're a likable person with interesting opinions, but what if you aren't? What if you can tell a story like nobody's business, but are otherwise an enormously boring person? What if you can't get anyone to even check out your book on Amazon?
When I ask myself which is more important, the thrill of having my book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, or the possibility of making a steady monthly paycheck with my writing, I'm lost. But, if I look at it from a failure stand point, my options do start to come a little clearer.
What if I submit to 100 agents and no one wants to rep me? What if I publish on kindle and make $2 a month? What if I publish traditionally, DO manage to sell my novel to a publisher, get the standard $5-7k, the book doesn't earn out, and they kick me to the curb? What do my options become then?
So, I've decided on a middle of the road compromise. Instead of choosing one over the other I'm going to hedge my bets. I'm setting a time limit. From the day I send out my first bunch of queries, I'll wait 3 months. If I haven't gotten a positive response back from an agent within that time frame, I will post my work up on kindle. This will give me time to further polish my novel, format it, design cover art, release a second teaser chapter, do some market research, create an irresistible product description, immerse myself more fully into message boards, blogs, and get my name out to more people.
What does everyone else think? Which is the more appealing choice? If three years ago, this choice didn't even exist, and now it's this hard to chose to between them, what will the state of publishing be in another 3 years?