To B, or not to B: that is the question…

I know lately I’ve drawn a lot on here.  It’s been fun but here is a normal blog post… boring I know, but I still needed to do it. 😀 (FYI ~ I couldn’t help myself there’s a funny at the end.)

This is the back and forth topic that a lot of us are now being forced to choose.  The first choice we have is do we self-publish or not.   That is an entire different blog post that many authors have done, and a choice that only you can make on your own.  But if you’ve made up your mind to self-pub, here is the second choice and a new question… Do we go with the $.99 book that Kindle is offering us?  We all keep hearing the rags to riches stories.  And, although we know our work is good, we are also aware that there is only one JK Rowling out there and unfortunately it’s not us. (Ms. J.K. Rowling, if you are actually reading this, please give me a shout out. 🙂 <– Shameless promotion, mixed with wishful thinking.)

To get back on track, I’m going to list the perks and the downs. Yes, another pros and cons list by yours truly. This one is about the 99 cent books which are becoming labeled B books –just like the old B movies.  I shall start positive with the perks.

The pros…

1. Your book will sale. There is truth to it.  People don’t mind wasting a buck on a book when a latte’ costs 4 to 5 times as much.

2. You will make a profit — IF you did it all yourself.  You still might make a profit if you hired an editor, which, no matter what, you should do everything you can to be properly edited, even when it costs 30 to 45 cents a word!

3. Well, there is no three I just felt there should be at least one more…

The cons…

1. You will be labeled as a B author. That is not “you might,” you WILL be labeled.  The truth of the matter is we do not yet know in 20 years if that will matter, but we know right now it’s not a great thing.  If you are planning on NEVER going traditional or you think only snobs will care and bookstores are dead… then being labeled doesn’t matter one bit to you… which is great! Go for it!

2. Traditional publishing is not dead, it’s just a little sick and chances are it will recover. There will be changes but it will recover.  The only indie movement we have to compare this new one to is the one the music world faced years ago.  Music labels and big companies didn’t die, they just changed.  By stating this I’m saying we shouldn’t place all our eggs in either basket.  I think there is going to be a meeting ground.  Why is this a con when we can just about guarantee that self-pubs are here to stay too, you might ask. The reason is we know that self-publishing will not dirty an author’s name, but we have no idea yet if being a “B” author will.  If, by some unforeseen event, the entire self-pub dies out, and one is labeled a “B” author, traditional pubs are less likely to tarnish their name by publishing a “B” author.

3. This is going to sound very cliché, but there is nothing in the world like holding your book in your hands.  It’s very much like seeing your child for the very first time.  You love to just look at it and hold it.  After all you created that book.  I’ve held my book in e-format… not the same.

Here is a good link to read a little more… http://www.publishingebooks.blogspot.com/

Now before everyone gets mad at me for what I’ve said please read this last part.  The reason this blog is up is because for the last 3 months I have taken this topic into the deepest consideration.  I have asked myself, “How fad is it?”  “How bad would I suffer?”  But after long, hard deep, consideration I have decided that I will just keep doing what I’m doing.

Note ~ I cannot stress editing enough. Before you submit to agencies, edit. Before you self-pub, edit. Before anyone but betas read it, EDIT! Have a pro look over it and fix what you, your friends, and your family didn’t see. It is VERY worth it! Your book Your baby deserves a fair start on the selves.

Note Note ~ Yes, I broke a writing rule and used ‘you’ all over the place.  Please forgive me Mrs. Brundidge, you and Mrs. Fleming are still my fav HS teachers! (My hubby is too, but he was never my actual teacher.)

Note Note Note ~ Some people do love B movies! Just NEVER watch Worm Eaters your eyes, tummy, and mind will thank you.

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4 Responses to To B, or not to B: that is the question…

  1. These are some very interesting ideas! I don’t know if I agree with you that traditional publishing will ever “go back” to where they were. I’ve become an e-book maniac, myself, and I shudder at the thought of going back to all that bulky, dusty paper.

    • sarahwinters says:

      Hi Kate, 😀 My husband (high school English teacher turned HS librarian) couldn’t agree with you more. He LOVES his e-readers. And because he is a HS librarian companies give e-readers to him for free, no iPad yet. He says that he doesn’t see that in the near future. However, he has gotten a Nook, Nook Color, and a Kindle. One day they plan on all the text books going e-book. That’ll save the kid’s backs. The library will stay full of books, at least at first. Anyway, I don’t think paper books have gone the way of the dodo yet though. 😉 And really, from someone who has held both, there was something nice about touching my own actual book, not just in e-form that made me smile… I don’t know what it is. Maybe it was the ability to fan it, hug it, and feel its weight. I was in heaven for a moment.
      I don’t think traditional will “go back” to where it was. There will be, and is, a major change happening. I just think it’ll stay on top… at least for now. I sure hope that they plan on paying their authors a little bit better, especially in the e-department.
      We are watching the world of books change. I find it exhilarating, fascinating, and, at times, a little intimidating. I guess to state it in a simile – it’s like riding a roller-coaster in the dark, we have no idea what the next turn will be.
      Sorry this got long… thanks for commenting,
      Sarah

  2. I am a not to B-er. (Is that proper grammar? Are there even teachers in the room?) I would love to rush things and see my books in print (even if that print is only the digital kind inside a Kindle or a Nook) but the stubborn traditionalist in me wants to see my book on a shelf in a real live bookstore. For the record, I think bookstores will still be relevent in the future, especially if my husband is right and the internet is struck down by a renegade sun spot or something like that. I love books. I love the feel of them, the smell of them, and the way they perfectly balance a plate of nachos while I watch TV. Just kidding…I would never use books that way 🙂

    Seriously…I want to be published traditionally because it means I have somehow paid my dues. Gone through the ringer. Been told I was worthy of adoration by a host of agents, editors and publishers before the first person holds a copy of my book in their hands. Call me modest (it might be the very first time anyone does) but I think I’m pretty good at this writing thing, and I want validation. And not the kind that starts with a “B” in front of it.

    But that’s just me.

    • sarahwinters says:

      Yes, there is *always* at least one teacher in the room. My husband, aunts, g-pa….. all teachers and a few librarians are in my family too. Hubby is both. So watch out, the teachers are watching us. 🙂
      What’s wrong with using a book as a plate or coaster? 😛 LOL!
      There are too many people that love to browse through books for bookstores to die out. One day when we are really old we might lose them, but IF that happens — it’ll be a long while.
      And you, plus a number of other happy traditionalists (which isn’t a bad thing at all), are why I’m sure that T-pub will stick around. That toppled by magazines refusing to review self-pubs (although they’re getting better about it) and big bookstore refusing to stock in store self-pub books (which some are closing, but not all) are at least going to slow down S-pub books. My hubby also does reviews for SLJ and they will not even let any self-pub author apply to be in their mag. The market isn’t a friendly place for them either. Self-pub authors still have a long road ahead of them before the world can open the door for them.
      As for needing to feel ‘validation — people, in general, LOVE feeling worthy, accomplished, loved, and all that mushy stuff. There are a lot of new authors, and old, that feel just the way you do. I am confident that both T-pub and self-pub will stay and there will be a new meeting ground. I just don’t think that being labeled, what is already being called ‘B’ books, is going to be good in the future.
      I hope both self-pub and T-pub wins. I like be able to choose. If 31 Flavors only had vanilla I would never go.
      LOL another LONG reply,
      Sarah

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