My six year old son believes that I am a “real author” already. For him, having a mom who “makes books” is really exciting. He told me the other day that he wants to be a real author and make books just like I do when he grows up. While it would be nice to be able to be a real author by how a six year old perceives me, the journey to being a real author is not easy. I haven’t even decided yet whether I am going to pursue traditional publishing or if I am going to self-publish. There are so many things to think about, including the fact that I’m not sure whether I would be considered a “real author” if I produced a self-published book.
Well the truth is that I would love to traditionally publish my book, I feel like it would give me the appropriate author cred, which is very important to me. But then I have to wonder why there are an amazingly large number of terrible books that are traditionally published, particularly in the Christian market. I am not sure that I want my book published by someone who thought that crappy Christian romance books were a good idea. Well, as far as dollars and marketing goes, they probably were a good idea. It is so frustrating that publishing is more about what makes money than what makes good books. I suppose this is how one tells a book lover apart from someone who is just in it for the money. I don’t have a problem with people doing things for money, after all, we all need some to get by, but sometimes it makes people make bad decisions and it makes publishers publish some lousy books (50 Shades of Grey” for example). I also don’t like the reticence to allow new authors to leave their mark because they have other established authors already. How is a new author supposed to get established if they can’t get their work picked up because they aren’t established?
These are some of the things that lead me to want to self-publish. But I have to admit that I want the recognition for my work, and that is easiest to be obtained by traditional publishing. I guess what it comes down to is that neither option is perfect and that there are definite benefits to both. Using the self-publishing option would mean more work for me to do, but it would also mean I get to maintain more creative control over my work. Traditional publishing, however, gives more access to getting my book into bookstores. Then again endorsement is amazing but I am not sure if I want my book to be published in the Christian market because a lot of what is published in the Christian market isn’t that great. And then I’m also not sure my book could be classified as a Christian book although it has Christian themes and is primarily for a Christian audience.