I think most authors today are following this debate closely. Each year, I attend the Matera Women’s Fiction Festival, and follow the discussion on this topic with authors who have been on both sides.
Over at the fabulous Nathan Bransford blog, ‘hybrid’ author (meaning she has published both traditionally and self-published) Natalie Whipple provides some interesting perspective on both publishing options, and explains the major differences and issues authors weighing their choices should know.
She covers issues such as rights, control, payment, cost to author, distribution, and marketing, providing balanced overviews about what to expect.
Any author today must do her homework. Self-publishing/indie publishing offers plenty of opportunities to authors today, but also requires additional work to ensure the process is handled well. Luckily, information on indie publishing is easily available and online communities are available for new authors to learn the ropes.
Then again, even traditional publishing requires much more work on the marketing and promotion side than in the past. It’s a very rare author today to hand off all the work of marketing and promotion to others.
And you, authors? What are your views on the self-publishing vs traditional debate? Have you had experience with one or the other, or both? What’s your advice to authors weighing these options?