With all the usual caveats that this is a for-fun unscientific quiz on a cybertown weblog, here’s how the publishing plans of those intrepid people who voted on our How do you plan to publish your WIP? quiz compare to the intrepid people who voted on the same quiz in 2013.
And now this year:
Blink and you might miss the differences. They’re basically identical.
What do you make of this? Is this just the vagaries of Internet poll-taking? Or are views toward traditional publishing vs. self-publishing becoming relatively cemented at this point?
What say you?
Ethan Casserino says
I still find it fascinating that people would consider Option One, and never try to self-publish. My mentality is to get the book out there, no matter what.
I prefer traditional publishing, but I do have two experimental pieces on Amazon. I couldn't rule out either until I tried. I'm still leaning more towards traditional though.
I think the self-pub/ebook boom has settled its incline now. Both people and publishers are getting to grips with it. However, for many newbie authors, a year isn't much time to finish writing that novel, so their views may still be the same as last year. Maybe next year they'll be different once they've finished writing…
My two pennies worth 🙂
I think things are changing, but in opposite directions and canceling each other out. For me, self-publishing has lost its stigma — but at the same time, it's lost its attraction as the market is so flooded that discoverability becomes an insurmountable barrier.
I'm hoping for the best of all possible worlds — that publishers will become desperate enough to do some actual marketing for the books they buy just as I become mainstream enough to attract one of them to my WIP.
I one of the ones who, a few years ago, would only consider traditional publishing, but I'm veering away from that. (I didn't participate in the poll.) I tried to traditionally publish my first book (I'm writing my second now) and got mostly excellent feedback, but was told it "didn't fit in a niche."
I know I'm a pretty good writer and I know the story is in a good place. I'd rather get it out there, even if two people end up reading it.
For my next book, I may not even try the traditional publishing route. I just don't see the advantages.
I have an agent, and she says the publishers put all their marketing money behind the designed blockbuster for that year; no one else gets any attention. I can be ignored on my own! (I'm joking, but only kind of.)
Kerry Gans says
First, since the people who take your poll are pretty much the same people who took it last year (your blog followers), it is not shocking that they are so similar.
Second, I don't think it's a matter of cementing opinions. I think every author knows how much of a "business person" they are–or want to be. Face it, when you self-publish, you ARE a business, in charge of everything from idea to delivery. Some people either don't want that, or can't handle that, and know it. Those are likely the people who are seeking traditional only. Yes, I know you still need to do a lot of marketing on your own, but you are part of a team for the majority of steps in the publishing process.
Saying that, I am going to be traditionally published by a small press next year, I am seeking an agent for future work, but I also have a self-published genealogy book out there. For me, it's all about what's right for the project. And I suspect that will be the case for a lot of authors in the future.
Neil Larkins says
If a vagary, the numbers would be greatly out of line year over year. I believe it's accurate to an acceptable degree and shows that the majority of writers had made up their minds by 2013 and are sticking with that decision this year. Telling poll. Thanks.
daniel t. radke says
Can't help but think a poll like this is even more unscientific as usual. You being a former agent for the traditional world, a lot of your followers are likely more traditionally-minded. If the sampling size were more diverse, I'd guess the two 'self-publish first' options would grab higher percentages.
Carol Silvis says
Interesting statistics. I have to say I'm surprised there is so little change. The media makes it seem like everyone is going the self-pub route and abandoning traditional.
I wonder how many people didn't vote in one or both polls because of a missing option? ("I will try traditional publishing first but will consider self-publishing if I don't find a publisher.") Because considering something isn't the same as doing it.
Those results are a little shocking. Does this mean the grand shift from traditional to self-publishing has leveled out?
I suspect the stability is due to the fact that there weren't any big game-changing upheavals in this arena in the past year. Seismic changes happened in a short time for a few years, but I think we've hit a plateau–probably a temporary plateau before more changes hit this industry.
I plan to(and am trying to Now)go with traditional publishing. I know nothing about publishing or any of the laws or rules or the processes involved, and I feel like where I would not try to bring a car into existence I also wouldn't try to bring a book into existence. If a publisher takes me and then wants to do an e-book that is fine, but as far as me going to Amazon and doing my own, No. I don't know enough to do it right and to protect myself from huge mistakes.
Cornell DeVille says
You don't indicate what size your sample was. That might be enlightening.
Bill Az says
One year isn't long. Try the same poll again in five years.
Bruce Bonafede says
Interesting poll results and interesting comments. I suspect the numbers remain the same because those still hoping for success in traditional publishing haven't shot themselves yet.
James Lewis says
One demographic that isn't represented well here is the author who uses both self-publishing, and traditional publishing equally to bolster their writing careers. The attitude of sticking to one or the other is becoming antiquated.
I think the next topic should be: Did you write a companion screen play? Seems to me the best way to get a publishing contract is to make your novel- "movie ready". Break the chapters down into scenes, get the whole story up in the dialogue of the novel, and so on and so forth.
Melanie Schulz says
I'm actually surprised at this but pleasantly so. I'm glad to see things are starting to settle down a bit.
I think this is relative to your readership, and I mean that in a good, positive way.
In other words, you tend to have a more sophisticated reader here, and you're more of a refined gentleman blogger, where this same poll somewhere else might be answered differently. I could be wrong, but it would be interesting to find out 🙂
Interesting results but not what I thought they would be. I'm reading and hearing of so many authors who are going for the self-publishing Createspace option, alone.
Btw, for folk who are looking for a review site with reviewers who are willing to review the unpublished is the Online Book Club. It is free although if anyone wants an expedited review, it is fifteen dollars. I received a thoughtful and lengthy review for my WIP, Winter Roses Never Die: https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=18889
The service is very handy for an author who wants to get a feel for how their work might be received after they've selfpublished and to generate word of mouth for those who have already published. My work isn't available anywhere as yet; just passing on the info.
Silky Oak Press says
I can't help thinking that a certain number of the people who chose Option One have written wonderful books that don't quite fit the lists of the larger traditional publishers, but really do deserve the opportunity to find their readers.
Hopefully the authors of such books will persevere long enough, and these books will find homes at small presses such as ours.
There are many small presses, staffed by smart, honest, hardworking people, all looking for particular types of books. If your book's good, it's just a matter of finding the one it's right for. Persevere, and you will.
The great thing is that there's so much opportunity for writers now, and if a book's good enough, and its author doesn't give up, it will get its opportunity somehow.