Before we get to the results of this year’s poll, first, the caveats.
This is unscientific, the poll audience changes from year to year and, because I’m a former literary agent known for my advice on query letters in particularly, the traditional crowd is probably over-represented relative to the book world as a whole.
Still… it’s an interesting snapshot!
Here’s the history, followed by my analysis:
(Forgot the poll this year)
And, finally….. 2021:
So how to make sense of these results? One of the best ways to think about this is to look at the people who are trying traditional first, either because they’re only considering traditional or will try traditional and then consider self- or hybrid publishing if they don’t find a taker.
Here are those results broken out by year for the traditional first crowd:
It’s… pretty stable, with last year being an exception where there was a dip in people who were traditional first.
This tracks my anecdotal experience, where I feel these ebbs and flows around publishing paths. People get excited about new developments around self-publishing and hybrid publishing, and they maybe go through the process of self-publishing a book or three, but traditional publishing continues to retain a strong gravitational pull, similar to the way print books keep holding on even after the hype around e-books.
What do you make of these results?
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Art: Printers by Abraham Bosse