One of the biggest decisions today’s aspiring authors make is whether to go the traditional route with a publisher (whether large or small) or to explore the independent publishing path. I chose to go independent and many writers have asked me about my decision. So, here’s the scoop: when I made a commitment to myself two years ago to bring The Little Rose children’s book to life, I had limited experience with self-publishing and was beginning to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the variety of publishing options available.
I attended the Southern California Writers Conference (www.writersconference.com) and networking events with writers. I asked both traditionally published and independently published authors about their experiences. I learned so much and decided to independently publish The Little Rose for several reasons:
- Passion and Speed – I felt a burning need to get the uplifting message of The Little Rose to children quickly. I didn’t have the time or patience to woo an agent, find a publisher, go through the whole process, and then wait for a slot on their release calendar several years later.
- Control – I wanted to be 100% happy with the final result of all of my hard work. I wanted to choose the right illustrator to bring my story to life and to influence the ultimate look and feel of my book. Even though I published independently, having a high-quality product was really important to me and I knew I could find the right partners to make that goal a reality.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit – I’ve always been very entrepreneurial and I was excited about the possibility of building a business around doing something that I absolutely loved. I also learned from other authors about the value of the rights tied in with a book and felt like I would be able to make those decisions for my brand better than a big publisher could. And, my background is in Marketing. I believed that I could leverage my knowledge and skills to be successful.
- Happiness – When I talked with other authors, the happiest ones tended to be the self-published authors. They had control over their destiny, their schedules, their agreements, their rights licensing, etc. That really appealed to me.
My best advice for authors who are exploring traditional vs. independent publishing is to talk with successful authors who are already doing it. See what their experiences were like and what they would do differently knowing what they know now. Find out who’s happy and why. Writing and publishing my first book was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve ever done.
Independent publishing is exciting and easier than it’s ever been before (although it’s still not an easy business), but it isn’t the right solution for everyone. Only the individual authors can truly decide what’s right for them, their books, and their careers.
About Sheri Fink
Sheri Fink is the #1 best-selling, award-winning children’s author of The Little Rose and The Little Gnome, the creator of “The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink” children’s brand, and an international speaker. Sheri writes books that inspire and delight children while planting seeds of self-esteem.
Sheri’s next book, Exploring the Garden with the Little Rose, debuts on October 2, 2012 and takes 2-5 year olds on an educational adventure through the garden. Along the way, kids will have fun and learn the names of the plants and animals in the garden. Exploring the Garden with the Little Rose retails for $14.95 and is available on Amazon.com at: https://tinyurl.com/exploringthegarden.
Discover more about The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink at https://www.WhimsicalWorldofSheriFink.com.