When you get your work out there and noticed, you do garner interest from areas that you (once) dreamed of. But when you break down a potential publishing contract… it’s not pretty. Yes, changing over to become a “traditionally” published author seems like the BIG dream. But you want to read the fine print. As flattering as it is to have someone contact you—
“We would love to work with you!”
—it feels majorly anticlimactic when you sit down and nut out the true meaning of the fancy-dancy contract you’ve been sent. Actually, it’s kind of heartbreaking. I will point out right now, that hundreds of thousands of books are traditionally published. Every.Single. Year. Being traditionally published effectively gives you these pros and cons.
You have people who will do the technical stuff for you: formatting, editing, cover creating.
You may have more success, being part of a company that markets books for a job.
You get to do the smug face and say you are ‘traditionally published’
The prices of your books increases and the royalties you receive plummets.
Any advance you receive is all the cash you will see from them until the advance ‘pays out’ – ie you pay them back. So if you got a $15,000 advance but only sell $1000 a year, that’s 15 years before you see any cash from your contract!
They don’t have to (some do, some don’t) pay the advance all at once. Often they’ll pay a third to begin with, a third part way through and a third at the end. Unless you’ve been given a phenomenal advance, you’ll need to keep your day job.
The books are no longer your books and you no longer can do with them what you wish.
They can and will ask you to change major aspects even if those parts are already adored by readers.
They can sell the rights to anyone they want to and you can’t make a peep. If they want to give the rights to someone to turn it into a hideous film version that they like to call ‘their interpretation of your story’ they can! You just get stuck with the results.
You get little say in the covers.
They can charge you for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, including the editing of your book, the creation of the cover, internal formatting and just about anything else they want. Their fees come straight out of your royalties, so unless you are amongst the top selling authors, chances are you will make pittance.
I know I have to put in a stack-load of work being an indie author, but at least at the end of the day I still own all my work and I can still reach those dizzying heights that some traditionally published authors reach. It may take more work and time (and then too, it might happen in the blink of an eye) but it will happen! I’ll damn well make sure of it *grin*
Take care all!
The Arrival, available FREE at at Amazon : AmazonUK : Barnes & Noble : iTunes US : iTunes UK : Kobo : Smashwords : Sony