It’s a question that thousands of potential authors are asking themselves everyday:
Should I try self publishing?
Or should I chase the dream of traditional publishing.
One answer is: do both! You’ll be hearing and reading a lot more from BookBaby about authors who do both traditional and self publishing. They’re called “hybrid authors” and they’re some of the most successful authors around today!
But if you’re just starting your publishing journey, you have to start with one or the other. It turns out I’m going to be speaking to a lot of writers trying to make this decision at the Storytellers Conference and Expo in Santa Rosa, CA. I’ve been searching for the easiest and best way to get my point across. And I think I’ve got it.
My explanation is actually three sets of numbers that best illustrates the road you should take, starting with $24,480 vs. $5,242.
This first comparison is borrowed directly from a presentation by Dana Beth Weinberg at the recent 2015 Digital Book World conference. Her points are so spot on that I’m compelled to present it as is and give her all the credit for this! Dana’s comparison looks at two different writing scenarios that take approximately the same timeframe.
She could decide to write and self publish four short books or novellas at 25,000 words each. Assume she charges $2.99 for each. With a 70% royalty rate enjoyed on Amazon, she would stand to make a little over $2.00 on each sale.
On the other hand, she could write and sell a 100,000 word novel to a traditional publisher – the same amount of work but closer to the length traditional publishers might expect. For the longer book she could expect to sell it for $6.99.
For both writing scenarios, let’s assume Dana has 3,000 fans who will buy everything she writes. Here’s her slide illustrating the side-by-side comparison: