Self Publishing or Small Press?

I know most of my readers are going the Big Publishing House route, and that’s fantastic. But if any of you are debating small press or do it yourself, you might find this helpful.

Advantages of small press:

1. They take on all the costs of editing, cover design, formatting and publicity. If you’re broke, going with small press is very compelling because then you’re not out of pocket. I have yet to make back the cost of covers on any of my books, I’m sure that includes the ones published at a small press, though they might get better prices than I do. I also am fortunate that my editor and publicist work on a percentage of what I make. When I make it big, so will they, but right now they are making nothing :(

2. They take on all the time of editing, cover art design, formatting, publicity and uploading. Self-publishing takes a huge amount of time. I just thought I would be writing, writing, writing. I did not realize how time consuming filling out the cover art forms, uploading the books, designing the Call to Actions with all the right links, blogging consistently, tweeting consistently, Facebooking consistently would be. Small presses take care of a lot of that, though the blogging, tweeting, etc. is still on your shoulders. Uploading is a bear. Smashwords in particular is very finicky and I’ve spent near a whole week dealing with their grinder and I’m still not 100% published there.

Advantages of Self-publishing:

Complete control.

Really, control is the main reason to do it yourself, and I think it’s worth it. Yeah, I’ve spent a ton of time last week linking all my books together as I continue to put out new episodes for my serial, but as I mentioned last week, I’m finally starting to see a trickle of sales. I feared after I posted last week, it would stop, but it’s continuing! If the trickle continues, maybe I can turn it into a stream. I have to keep producing. I have to keep spending the time uploading and linking, but this way, my books don’t stagnate.

Another part of control is pricing. A small press sets the price, and that’s pretty much it. The book never goes on sale unless the vendors put it on sale or unless the small press decides to put their catalog on sale. But I can lower or raise my prices and experiment to see what works. I can put books in a bundle if I want for a limited time and try and get new readers that way. Really, whatever tricks I come up with, I can give a try. Because I have nothing more to lose.

Except time. I do have to be careful that publishing doesn’t take over my life.