Traditional Publishing versus Self-Publishing

Revived Post from 2011

*I wrote this post (now slightly edited) back in 2011. It’s rather interesting for me rereading it now. Looking back I’m still glad that I went the e-book route as opposed to continuing down the traditional route.



The Traditional Route

In March 2008 I completed what I suppose is technically a memoir, then it festered in a drawer for nearly three years while I winged the standard synopsis and sample chapters off to publishers. To me the very word memoir is off-putting. It conjures up pictures of a white-haired old man relating his war experiences in a somewhat starched  and stuffy style. So when I approached publishers during that three years I avoided using it and instead I called it a True Romantic Adventure. It made no difference, I still got the standard pleasant and complimentary rejections. To get a personal story published I think you really need to be a celebrity of some sort.

Thousands of writers follow the same well-worn path of rejection, and not just for memoirs. It matters not what your genre is, it’s still a laborious and often disheartening task trying to get published, however dogged you are. A fact which also causes some concern is that some books which are now world-famous were turned down by dozens of publishers before eventually being accepted. I read recently that Zen and the Art of Motor-cycle Maintenance was turned down 121 times before it was accepted. So even if you are a good writer it could take donkeys years to get published. And even worse, what if your book was eventually published and sold like crazy after you had died; wouldn’t that cheese you right off!

Fortunately for me and a lot of other authors the age of the e-book is seriously with us now. It gives us all a long-awaited and sporting chance to sell our chosen genre. At last the author has some control. As one writer recently put it, ‘The Kindle (and other e-Readers) allows you to publish your work and let the people decide – democracy in action!



4 thoughts on “Traditional Publishing versus Self-Publishing”

  1. I agree Jude! Having the door slammed in your face many times can be a bit disheartening. If I ever publish, I come to you for advice ( or just keep reading your posts!) lol 🙂 T.


    1. Ha- every single day in Ecuador is worthy of a book — or at least a short story! We’re lucky to squeeze the most of each day, and even luckier to have computers (even if they’re burros at times) and don’t have to use carbon copies or try to type a perfect page — or 300 perfect pages! There are definite advantages to living in this era!

      Thanks for the info about ‘Zen/Moto-Maintenance; tere’s an open page/window right now with quotes about perserverance.. You might enjoy these quotes!


  2. Thanks Lisa, I’ll nip over and have a look at those quotes. Yes, definitely the era for self-publishing, and not just e-books. I’m going to go the whole hog now and self-publish all my books as paperbacks! Lots of work to do, and research, and a real brain-drain, but it’s great fun! 🙂 It’s the journey with writing (and many other things), once I’ve finished a book I just want to write another! 🙂


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