Guest Post by Alex Hurst: What Can Traditional Publishing Offer Authors?

This month I’ve had the honor of writing my second ever guest blog over at Nicholas C. Rossi’s website. As an opinion piece inspired by an infographic, I think I did pretty well, but I’d love my fellow writers to check it out, and offer their own opinions.

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Alex Hurst

As you know, I’ve self-published some of my books, and published traditionally others. When I posted a (somewhat cheeky) infographic about Self-publishing vs. Traditional Publishing, my friend Alex Hurst pointed out that there’s lot more to be gained from following the traditional path than suggested by the post.

After she had made a few great arguments in the comments, I asked her to write up a guest post on the subject, as she had obviously put a lot of thought into the subject. She came up with the great post below. Enjoy!

3 Reasons to Go Traditional

These days, self-publishing is all the rage, and with the prominence of DIY publishers like Amazon, Smashwords, and Draft-2-Digital, it’s not hard to see why. Authors can take full control of the creative process, editing only what they want to, choosing (or making) a cover they feel presents their book faithfully, and distributing to whatever…

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9 thoughts on “Guest Post by Alex Hurst: What Can Traditional Publishing Offer Authors?

  1. jazzfeathers says:

    Loved the article, Alex 🙂

    In the world of today, self-published authors often make you feel like a fool because you still want to go trad pubbed.
    I work in a publishing house (though not the kind that would publish my stories) and I know enough of the market and the process to be aware it isn’t as simple as one may think. Sometimes I feel as if self-published authors don’t really have the handle of the situation because they never came closer to the industry enough to know what’s standard requirement for a book.
    I understand the so coveted freedom to do whatever you want. Me, I prefer professionality.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Don’t ever feel like a fool! I do agree that sometimes it feels like the tone of the tide is traditional publishing has no more inherent worth in this day and age… but that’s what my post addresses. As I intend to work in the publishing industry (the whole reason I’m moving!) this is an issue that’s close to my heart.

      I think it’s great that you want to query and do things the way you want to do them. Stay persistent, continue improving, and try until you land the deal you want.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mbarkersimpson says:

    Great post. I really enjoyed reading your take on the subject. I especially liked the point you made about bragging rights. There are pros and cons for both avenues, and so it’s difficult to put a definitive answer on it. We are such diverse creatures and, at the end of the day, it’s all about the individual. I don’t think indie authors should rule out traditional, nor do I blame an author for wanting to try different routes to establish what works for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. TRISTA says:

    GREAT article about traditional publishing. I know I feel intimidated by the idea of presenting my work to agents/publishing houses, but it’s not like self-publishing is easier. I’d have the same high standards but have to do it all on my own. Just working on my storybooks-you-can-color and designing a cover has taught me how much thought, time, expresses, talent, and technology goes into the cover alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. CompGeekDavid says:

    Thank you for sharing this – great guest post!

    I feel like I can see what the path would be for doing a good job at self-publishing. I see what the work takes on Twitter and through other venues (like blogging) to advertise your books. I follow enough writers to see how they’re handling it! And I think I could find an indie publisher as well through those channels.

    I have writer friends I’ve met through blogging as well, who could help promoting, interviewing, all that. To be fair, if I were planning on counting on that, I should really be working on reciprocity there…

    And I know several graphic designers and graphics artists (my wife included…) so I know I could get cover design and layout figured out.

    And I have a day job – well, more than that, I have a profession. I’m a librarian. I’m a blogger. An expecting parent. And I know of myself that I do not have it in me to either a) step away from all of that right now to be a full-time writer, and b) do not have the discipline to be writing 2-4 books per year along with everything else.

    In other words… self-publishing sounds really kind of awful to me right now precisely because I can see how I could pull off all of the moving parts. I see just how much work that would be. A traditional publisher would be so much better when it comes to all that!

    However, that leads me to my big hurdle: choosing which of the project ideas in my head are the most “marketable” to publishers. Which has me kind of paralyzed to start writing any of it.

    Which then circles me around to wondering… should I write something lower-stakes and self-publish it? To that end, I am exploring the idea of collaborating on some writing projects with fellow bloggers – this gives me external motivation, doesn’t “use up” one of my existing story ideas, and could be a lot of fun!

    Okay, sorry, /endrant

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alex Hurst says:

      I’m glad you liked the post! And don’t feel like you need to write to the market. The thing about the market is that is changes faster than books can finish, most of the time, so you can trunk something until it comes back into fashion. If trad. publishing is the way you want to go, just keep querying.

      Self-publishing is something I’ve done a few times, and the amount of work is monstrous, truly. And I’ve only written short fiction so far! People can do it, like you said, but it does cut into the personal life and other parts of life that I don’t necessarily want to suffer. 😛

      Reciprocity is cool, as long as it’s honest. Indie writers have to be really careful about falling into a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” mentality because then feelings get hurt, readers get alienated, etc. Not that you do this, but I’ve seen it enough to give you the warning now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • CompGeekDavid says:

        It’s more that where I actually know the author, I really could at least, like, tweet their books 😉 but I absolutely see your point on reciprocity.

        One thing I’ve heard that’s really important is having an agent… Which is another one of those things you could do without. But again, there’s a reason there are people who are experts and professionals.

        Writers are a great group for advice 🙂 Maybe this comes from the fact we’re all hiding plot points, and we can only keep so many secrets!

        Liked by 1 person

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