Should You Self-Publish or Traditionally Publish?

Very informative and helpful post. Put the issue into perspective I think.

A Writer's Path


by A.G. Young

So today we’re talking about if you should Self Publish or Traditionally Publish that baby you have been working on for months or years. This of course is no easy question to answer, and also very highly personal to each writer. So I am going to discuss my opinion on the matter. And a little forewarning, because of the topic of this post, this is going to be a long one.

Before you can answer this main question, you must answer a few others first. Let’s see what those are.

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Legal Deposit – What Is It And Are You Covered?

Now here’s something I never knew about or have heard about before. Definitely worth reading and keeping an eye on the comments.

K Morris - Poet

A copy of every book published in the United Kingdom must be deposited with the British Library. This includes everything from the latest blockbuster through to the self-published history of the Jo Bloggs family. The British Library’s website provides the following succinct explanation of Legal Deposit:
“Legal deposit has existed in English law since 1662. It helps to ensure that the nation’s published output (and thereby its intellectual record and future
published heritage) is collected systematically, to preserve the material for the use of future generations and to make it available for readers within
the designated legal deposit libraries”, (see
From 6 April 2013 legislation pertaining to electronic publications came into force:
“From 6 April 2013, legal deposit also covers material published electronically, so that the Legal Deposit Libraries can maintain a national collection of
e-journals, e-books, digitally published news, magazines and other types of content.

The Legal Deposit…

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A List of Small Press Publishers

Large publishing houses are not the only way to go about getting published. Have a look at these small press publishers covering horror to literary work, speculative to erotica.

Madeleine Swann

Hello! Here’s a few small press publishers for you to explore. Some horror, some bizarro, some literary, stick your face in their sites and see which you prefer. I also advise searching websites Duotrope, Dark MarketsThe Horror Tree and The Erotica Readers and Writers Association, if you like that sort of thing. Some of those below do poetry too. The list isn’t exhaustive, there are plenty more out there.

Raw Dog Screaming (RDSPress) – “fiction that foams at the mouth.”

Burning Bulb Publishing – all kinds of oddities.

The Strange Edge – absurdist, bizarro, weird horror and other oddities. Currently a website but branching out as a magazine

Kraken Press – horror and general darkness

Forbidden Fiction – paying erotica website

Shock Totem Magazine – horror

Eraserhead Press – strictly Bizarro

Starcherone Books – “independent innovative fiction”

Belladonna Publishing – “preferred genres are dark fantasy, urban fantasy, gothic, steampunk and fairytales.”…

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Is this the month self-publishing becomes respectable in the UK?

This competition any use to anyone? Has self-publishing become acceptable?


Literary prize for self-published novelThe Guardian newspaper has joined with publisher Legend Times to offer a monthly literary prize to the best self-published novels written in the English language – translations are also eligible. Submissions are first read by a panel of Legend’s readers who will draw up a shortlist of up to 10 titles a month. The prize is respectability and exposure – the winning book will be reviewed in the Guardian. Claire Armitstead, the newspaper’s literary editor , explained why they had decided to launch the prize:

“the phenomenon of self-publishing over the last couple of years has become too big for any of us to ignore”.

Submissions will be open for the first fortnight of each calendar month. The book must have been self-published after 31 December 2011 and should be sent to with “Self-Published Book of the Month Submission” in the subject line. Find out morehere.

Without quality…

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Writers’ rights with Moral Rights – a quick guide

If you are wanting to become a professional writer, I highly recommend reading this post.

Matthew Wright

A reader asked the other week what ‘Moral Right’ meant. It’s an interesting area for writers.

Wright_SydneyNov2011Moral right differs from copyright. You own copyright on anything you create, by default. The copyright holder, alone, has the right to copy the work, but also has the power to grant a license to others to do so. When you sign a publishing contract, you – as copyright holder – are granting them a license to reproduce your material. Usually the copyright holder receives a royalty for each copy sold under that license. However, copyright is transactable – you can sell that copyright, along with the licenses, to somebody else. Then they get the royalties from the sales of the work.

That’s how the Beatles’ back catalogue ended up with Michael Jackson, for instance. It’s also how the film rights for The Hobbit ended up where they did, because apparently Tolkien sold that particular right in…

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Write it now: the twelve steps to traditional publishing

Proofreading is critical these days I feel as I have come across books recently published with typos.

Matthew Wright

Although traditional publishing is in upheaval these days, there are lessons we can learn from its processes. The new age of e-publishing hasn’t changed the need for quality control – which trad publishing has had down pat for decades.

Part of my list. Part of my list.

The traditional publishing process breaks down into twelve broad steps. They vary a little from publisher to publisher, but the intent is always the same; quality control. The steps typically go like this:

1. Manuscript (MS) submitted.
2. MS read and confirmed for quality – or returned to the author for amendments.
3. MS sent for proof-editing. Most publishing houses operate a ‘virtual’ editorial process – they’ll have a stable of contractors who are brought in as needed for this work.
4. Proof-edited MS checked back with the author to confirm changes. The author needs to avoid the temptation to re-write at this point (and will likely…

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Book Contracts and Getting Paid

I covered this sort of thing at university in more detail but sometimes, it is nice to have a little reminder of how things work with publishers,agents and contracts, etc. My reminder today came from Benedict Jacka.

He’s written a blog post today talking about getting his first royalty check then went on to explain about how book contracts and getting paid works, among other things. It is very clearly explained and very concise. For people who haven’t been taught and/or haven’t read about how this work from the how-to books that are out there on the market and are coming into the industry not knowing how it works, it is brilliant.


I thought I would post it here for you to read and to enjoy:

Writing a World of Whimsy: Young Adult Author Claire Legrand

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this article about a published author, Claire Legrand, who uses WordPress. I don’t know why but I seem to find that other published authors use Blogspot and, occasionally, their own websites for blogging. Rather uniquely, I’ve noticed that Heather Brewer, the writer behind The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod and The Slayer Chronicles books, vlogs on YouTube! You can find her channel 
Claire in this also offers advice to writers, published and unpublished, about using and writing blogs.

The Blog

Periodically, we share stories of users doing awesome things, from blogger David McRaney snagging his second book deal to memoirist Susan Morrison bringing her mother’s World War II-era diaries to life. Today, meet Claire Legrand — a young adult author of fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction worlds — who also makes her online home.

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35 Things to Do Besides Write (Which Will Improve Your Writing)

Excellent list that reminds me at least that sometimes, focusing on writing too much can be a bad thing and that you need to get out into the world and explore it.


Don't be "a writer."

Writers write, sure, but you can’t be writing all the time.  Take a break once in a while!

Here are a bunch of things you can do instead that will have you coming back to your desk reinvigorated and full of ideas.

  1. Read a book you love.  Pay attention to what makes you love it. Is it the author’s word choice? The suspense?  The rhythm?
  2. Read something you’ve never read before: new author, new genre, whatever.
  3. Play with a child (or a bunch of children)yerin park sled

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JK Rowling or Robert Galbraith: How to pick a pen name-BBC News

After the revelation that JK Rowling published a crime novel under a pen name, the BBC News website has published an interesting article discussing why established and new authors sometimes write under a pseudonym, including discussion of why editors will suggest a pen name and the effects of an author’s name on book sales. If you want to create a pen name for yourself, the last section (Make It Memorable) offers advice on doing so. You will find the article here: JK Rowling or Robert Galbraith: How to pick a pen name

I do intend to (hopefully!) publish under my name but this article has me thinking about whether my real name  is right for the genre I want to write in. Would it sound good as the author of a fantasy novel or crime or another type of writing? I do have a middle name but it is very effeminate so I may, in that respect, have a similar problem to Rowling: boys don’t buy or read books by women.

In time, I will probably know but for now, I am happy to post some of my work on deviantART under my username whilst continuing to write and, hopefully, at least get published in more traditional ways.