You click one link after another after another and so on and so forth and before you know it's four hours later and you have conceded that you probably won't accomplish much today. Well I had one of those days but it was very positive experience because I learned a lot. I was researching self-publishing. I came across the authors Brenna Aubrey and HM Ward who turned down traditional publishers to self-publish and of course their success stories intrigued and inspired me. More intriguing was the fact they broke down everything they went through. Their experiences and opinions on the subject prompted me to put together some more CONS about traditional publishing.
- Little to no control of rights for 35 years (print, e-book, audio, film, etc.) which means no control over re-print runs, movie/TV casting, scripts, budget, etc. Courtney Milan breaks down costs here.
- Little to no creative control/freedom (title, cover, edits, marketing and placement, pricing) which means you could end up with a cover you don't like or a marketing plan that does not work to your novel's strengths.
- Authors do not know the budgets and marketing plans "of any given book before agreeing to sign a contract" per HM Ward.
- Little to no control over release date/timetable, since you are working with publisher who has other books and priorities.
- Little to no advance for debut authors. Any advance is against royalties. Usually one half of the total advance is delivered upon author signing. The remaining amount divvied into payments distributed upon delivery of edited manuscript and again upon publication. Once you sell through advance the royalties diminish to about of 7% on print books and 25% of the net on eBooks.
- If there is an advance, you don't see any cash flow until the advance is repaid, this is a loan by another other name.
- Amount of royalties paid are very little with traditional publishing, especially for debut authors.
- Possible lower involvement in editing/revising of book.
- Non Compete Clause means that you cannot publish or authorize publication of any book-length credited under your author name. People have gotten around this by publishing under pseudo names.
- Require rights to print and ebooks which means you can't reprint excerpts on blogs or in articles without permission.
This is a personal decision of course.