(note: I wanted to originally make this post a quiz, but I couldn't find a good widget for that. If you know of one, let me know because I was quiz-obsessed as a teen. Like quizzes in magazines titled 'What Kind of a Kisser are You?' not math quizzes.)
Before I get too deep into posts about the technicalities of epublishing, I wanted to help you figure out where you belong first. It's not as simple of a decision as you might think. ePublishing is NOT about giving up on traditional publishing (many are still hoping to land an agent who can procure additional venues for their books). It's NOT about making gobs of money (most don't on both sides). It's NOT about being a control freak (most of us hire out things like covers and editing).
The decision comes down to how to stay true to yourself and your goals. There isn't a right or wrong answer. What I'd really like to do is break down some of the barriers between traditional and epublishing. There's a lot of anger coming from both sides as they spout off about who is better. Guess what? Neither is better - they are just different. Different goals = different path to publishing.
Here are some things to ask yourself:
1. Is my need to see my book on a bookshelf at Barnes & Noble greater than my need to get my books in readers' hands?
In self-publishing, we can releases books our own schedules. Many traditionally published books take a year, or more, to get to the bookshelf.
2. Do I want to just write, leaving all the extras to the professionals or am I eager to stick my hands in the dirt and manage every aspect of the publication process?
This is really at the heart of self-publishing. There are many writers who just want to write and not be bothered with the minutae of publishing. That's a perfectly acceptable reason to go traditional. There's a ton of work on the business side of self-publishing. Not everyone wants to be bothered with it.
3. Do I need recognition from the establishment or am I content to letting my books speak for themselves?
This may be one of the largest obstacles to self-publishing: how we perceive the quality of our work. Many people think self-published = crap. It's not always true. Bottom line is: You will never please everyone. There will always be someone who doesn't like your book, even if you get the traditional publishing stamp of approval.
It's not an easy choice for many to make. It wasn't for me. It took me months to come around. Almost one year later, how do I feel about my decision? I wouldn't change one moment of it. I love epublishing!
This discussion always reminds me of the Kia Soul commercial. Who doesn't love rapping hamsters?!
Megg, Miss Enchanted ePubber