We all have so many things to choose from in the world, that every choice becomes that much more meaningful.
Before we jump into our next Factor, I want to remind everyone that there are so many factors to consider. And that is just my opinion, and mine alone. I am just one perspective, so I encourage you to look at a lot of different opinions. I will focus on three types of publishing: Traditional, Indie Publishers and Self-Publishing. So what are some of those factors? Cost, Control, the Business-Model, Branding, and Timelines!
Our most valuable and non-regenerating resource in each lifetime is time. So of course, in making publishing decisions, you need to evaluate how you want to forfeit some of your time, because publishing a book will require your time!
Traditional Publishing: We will start with our least time consuming in some aspects. With traditional, you're likely to have a team of people doing a great deal of the grunt work. You'll still have to commit to the writing and editing the writing, but they're going to take the reigns on printing, sales, marketing, and design. Likely, your biggest time committment will stem from events they help you get and writing, which sounds like a pretty sweet gig. The only other thing to consider is that getting to that deal, you'll have to spend your time on the front end finding an agent, working with them, finding a publishing, submitting your work, and really doing the search for the deal. This will be upfront work of going to conference, sending out inquiries and schmoozing the right person into believing in you.
Side note: I want to be clear and not repetative, in all three you will still have to write, edit and attend events. That is a given to being an author.
Indie Publishing: This takes way less upfront work of schmoozing, though you still have to submit the work to enough and hope someone finds it interesting. And
similarily you will have a team of people who pull the book together, though you will likely have to do more work to assist with that. Sometimes that is finding your own illustrator and then working with them to fall in line with the publisher's guidelines. One of the biggest shifts I see here is that you are highly unlikely to recieve help with marketing and events. So you'll need to put in the work to learn that side of the industry, brand yourself and find your own events, which is where I have found most sales and also have had the biggest disappointment. So you will need to do an average amount of work the entire time, never all of it, but you're never going to just sit back.
Self-Publishing: This is all you; and anything you don't do will cost you money. Beginning to end, you'll design, build, print, market, and sell the book. You'll need to put in the energy to find events, research their worth, and secure your place at them. The place you save time is in the freedom to make decisions as soon as you want to and act when you're ready. You don't have to convince anyone but yourself. So you'll pull midnight oil hours getting it all done, but I have been able to do more on my own, working at my speed, than I was able to with a team doing the work. I make more mistakes though too, which can add time.
So again, you've got the full spectrum of possibilities. It really depends on which route seems more like what you want. As I said, I've done more in the last year on my own than I did in 3.5 years with an Indie Publisher. But I also end up working an additonal 15 hours a week after my full-time job to make it happen.
And if you're not sure, don't hesitate to ask me! I'll always be your sounding board! Find me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with @dreambuiltbooks
Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org