eFiction Founder Doug Lance posted this flowchart the other day “to help people decide how to publish.” He’s obviously biassed, but I think he makes a good point.
My editor recently retired, and over the last few months I’ve been toying with the idea of self publishing. I feel like I got a lot out of the small-press process, but I really like the idea of more creative control. Still, I have a voice of doubt in the back of my head, arguing that I might be making a misstep.
Lance’s flowchart really helped me break this down. According to his flowchart, I have four possible goals. Here they are out of order.
Critical Acclaim: If I wanted critical acclaim, I wouldn’t be writing vampire novels filled with dick jokes. Come on, until they come out with the Hugo for Best Dick Joke*, that’s just not happening.
Prestige: A little piece of me wants to be published by a big house, so the next time Jim Hines or somebody else who’s work I enjoy comes to town I can say, “Hey, remember me from that TOR mixer at BlahCon. My book just did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. Now we can be best friends.” But honestly, every writer I’ve talked to either big or small has always been really cool and approachable. Whether we self-publish or make a million for Harper Collins, we all share the same challenges and anxieties.
Money: At the end of the day, it’s nice to do what you love and be appreciated with social-survival points. However, this is not my most important concern.
Readers: Okay. This is the big one. I like when people read my books. I know there is a potential audience out there for me. We just have to find each other. When people love my books and leave me nice reviews, it makes me squee. And I am no serial squee-er.
* I’m pushing for this.