Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
In an age when “indie publishing” has become completely accepted and in fact, more common than traditional publishing, people are asking more and more, “Why would I want a traditional publisher?”
Here are six possible reasons.
1. Objective validation
To be “chosen” by a publisher means that a group of people who are widely read, and who see dozens of new projects come across their desks every week, believe your book has value and will find a reading audience. It means that people who see all kinds of writing—from really bad to really great—believe that yours is somewhere in the ballpark of “really great.”
2. Editing and design
Virtually all writers, including the very best, will find their writing improves and their books are better because they’ve worked with talented editors. Publishers also provide a professional and polished interior and exterior look for their books, in both electronic and paper formats. Of course you can hire people to do this if you’re indie publishing, but with a traditional publisher, it’s part of the package.
3. Expanding your readership
Even though writers usually need some kind of platform and they have to do a lot of marketing on their own, the publisher does their own marketing, reaching whole different audiences than the author is able to reach on their own.
4. Mainstream media
Traditional media is still an important driver of book sales — talk shows, news programs, and reviews in major magazines, newspapers and websites (New York Times, Washington Post, People, etc.) Not every author can get this kind of publicity, but books published through traditional houses have a much better chance. Most of the mainstream media still chooses not to review or feature self-published works, except for the occasional phenom.
5. Partnership and expertise
Authors know that when they work with a publisher, they’re partnering with a company that has years, decades or even centuries of experience choosing, editing, designing, marketing and selling books. Sometimes it’s nice to know you’ve got a partner who knows what they’re doing.
6. Emotional payoff
There is just something special about the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. For many people, the dream feels fully realized when they’re contracted by a traditional publisher.
What are your thoughts? Why are YOU pursuing traditional publishing?
P.S. I have nothing against self-publishing… this isn’t an “us vs. them” thing. I just happen to work primarily in traditional publishing, and wanted to point out some advantages. This post isn’t against self-publishing.