In the publishing industry, many roads seem to diverge, and an author is expected to pick just one to travel down. Many authors would usually want a big-time publisher to pick up their book. This way they could get their name printed on the New York Times Best Sellers List and get a nice pay advance. However, this is not always the path that will be given to or chosen by the author.
When big name publishers aren’t in the cards, many authors turn to indie-publishing or self-publishing.
But which one is best? When two publishing platforms diverge, how does an author choose? Since they clearly cannot choose both.
Like painting a horse with black and white stripes and calling it a zebra, there is something just not quite right about considering indie-publishing and self-publishing the same thing—though many are guilty of doing so.
A self-publisher is an author that publishes their own books. This can be done through platforms like Amazon, Gumroad, Sellfy, and Lulu. With platforms such as these, self-publishing has become easier than ever before. Here at Detroit Ink Publishing, it is our mission to help authors on their journey to prepping their work for self-publishing. We do this by offering different forms of editing; such as proofreading, copy editing, line editing, and developmental editing. At our other company, Your Business, Your Brand, Creatively, we offer other services that further assist authors. These services include marketing and entrepreneurial training, among others.
An indie-publisher, while not connected to large publishing companies such as Harper Collins, mimics the activities of larger publishers. However, they do so on a much smaller scale. Some well known indie-publishers include Tiny Fox Press, Unnamed Press, and Autumn House Press. Indie-publishers will often be more interested in developing smaller authors, and helping unheard voices get heard.
With an indie-publisher there is a bit more of a “middle man” in the publishing process. In self-publishing, the author controls most all creative aspects of their work—though they may choose to hire outside help such as editors and graphic designers. An indie-publisher may affect your work creatively, even if just slightly, and will have some kind of percentage intake on the profits from your work—though it should be noted that many self-publishing platforms will also take some kind of percentage as well.
An indie-publisher also offers more of a sense of “security” to the author, as the author is not heading into the big scary world of book publishing on their own. An indie-publisher is there to hold your hand, in a sense, and guide you when you’re not quite sure where to go. If you are looking to self-publish, you may find that you will have to go through a lot more learning and training in order to properly and effectively publish and market your book.
While that may sound scary, it could be well worth your time. Self-publishing, as I mentioned before, gives the author complete control of their work. As they say, if you want it done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself! If you’re particularly picky about and protective of your work, which I’ve found that most writers are—including myself—then self-publishing may be the way to go. If you’ve already made it so far as to write and complete a book, you are definitely talented enough, and committed enough to handle self-publishing!
Both indie-publishing and self-publishing offer a lot more creative freedom than a traditional big name publisher. They both have a lot of benefits, and one could be considered greater than the other all in perspective of each different author.
Detroit Ink Publishing and Your Business, Your Brand, Creatively are here to assist you with all of your writing and marketing needs! We could be a great asset to you, regardless of which publishing path you choose to take.