Have you noticed that the publishing business is very similar to Aseop's Fable: The Hare and the Tortoise. If you remember, the Hare, bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, the slow and steady tortoise, challenged him to a race. Blogger and writer, KRISTINE KATHRYN RUSCH wrote an enlightening article in the Business Rush that made me think to link this classic fable.
In Traditional Publishing: Wait to Hurry up, the Tortoise in the story.
You wait for months or years to place the book in the hands of an editor or agent, months to negotiate the contracts, many more months to put the book and marketing plan together, even more months of pre-publication promo/publicity work, until finally the big day arrives and your book is released.
Then comes the rush for your success. It's based on pre-sales in the months leading up to your book launch and those sales for the first few months after you launch. Those numbers are crucial in determining whether you get another book deal with that publisher. If those sales numbers are low, your book will be out of print in a year. In traditional publishing you have no chance to slowly build an audience, it's a race against time.
In Self Publishing: Hurry up and Wait, the Hare story.
Indie authors are on hyper-drive from the word go. Scrambling to finish the book, editing, cover design, distribution, etc. It's a mad dash to get your book to the world.
Then comes the waiting. You can wait, and wait, and wait for sales, which can trickle in month-by-month increments. Unlike the Traditional author, Indie's have the luxury of time.
They can build a readership through word-of-mouth, one person at a time. It could take months or even years, there is no shelf-life for an Indie author's book. Plus, the best thing for an Indie author, in promoting their book, is to write the next book.
Which Are You?
The challenges authors face today varies and trying to decide which publication route is best for you is paramount. We all remember how this story turned out, but the question you must ask, are you a Hare or a Tortoise?