Friday, August 31, 2012

Guest blog by THE author Kelley York & Drawing

Today I am forunate to welcome author Kelley York to The Scribbler in the Rye! Kelley, author of Hushed, which was released in 2011 and the most recently released Hollowed (Half Light) both received rave reviews. Kelley is going to speak about traditional publishing versus self-publishing--a publishing trend that every writer is curious about. Since she has done both, and since I've very positively reviewed both of her works on this site...

I am excited to share the post below from Kelley! Look below this post for a drawing for a free book!

Self-pub versus Traditional Pub
Hi everyone! I know I've talked a bit about the self-publishing process versus the traditional process in other posts, but for this post, I thought I'd do a side-by-side comparison of some of the aspects of both routes.

Well, write a book. Whether you're going for an agent, a publisher, or self-publishing, the next step should be:

Traditional Publishing: You're assigned an editor. Maybe more than one. With Entangled, I went through a few edits with my main editor for content editing. We fixed any inconsistencies, plot holes, and issues with the actual storyline and flow. Only when that was done did another editor get hold of it. She checked for spelling and grammatical errors. The fine tuning, if you will.
Self-Publishing: This falls all on the author. Send it out to a bunch of betas, preferably ones with strengths opposite your own, so they catch things you don't. Let it sit for a few weeks or months. Then come back to it. You'll find a lot of things you missed. Pay attention to ARC reviews prior to release date because they're likely to pick up on even more things you missed.

Cover Design
Traditional Publishing: You don't have to worry much about this, do you? Your publisher will take care of it. Maybe you'll have some input, but maybe you won't.
Self-Publishing: You have ALL the say! However, keep in mind you have to either pay someone to design your cover, or do it yourself. Always ensure you have the license to an image to reproduce it for e-book and print. (Dreamstime has nice images and is cheaper than most other stock sites.) Also, not all fonts are free to use! I suggest Font Squirrel, which carries only royalty free fonts.

Traditional: Another thing your publisher should take care of. (Unless they're a publisher who doesn't send these out.)
Self-Publishing: I don't see many self-pubbers sending out ARCs. They're a pain. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for my reviewers, so I did a crap load of formatting to ensure I had epub, mobi, and PDF files that would read properly on all e-book readers. They came in handy and helped me catch typos I wouldn't have caught otherwise.

Traditional Publishing: Of course your publisher takes care of all this. They made sure all digital formats will display properly on Kindles, Nooks, iPads, in print copies, etc. Chances are, they'll even send you a copy and you get one last chance to "galley proof" and look for errors.
Self-Publishing: While I used programs like Calibre and Sigil for my ARC formatting, that didn't do me any good when it came to uploading to places like Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Smashwords has an e-book formatting guide that is for their site,'s incredibly useful for anyone. I followed every single step in the Smashwords guide, and had ZERO errors uploading. I was approved for the Smashwords premium catalog within a couple of days.

Distribution and Marketing
Traditional Publishing: If you're lucky, you'll have a publicist, someone assigned to marketing your book. They'll arrange blog tours, signings, help in the way of designing swag—and if they're a large publisher, they might even supply the swag. All you have to do is keep a good online presence so people don't forget about you.
Self-Publishing: I hope you don't have to do anything else with your day, or sleep or something. (I'm kidding.) Be prepared to organize your own tours. Chances are, you aren't going to find many book signing opportunities because you're self-pubbed, but it's worth a shot if you have print copies on hand. Your books also aren't likely to see the inside of a book store unless you have a local indie store that would be willing to stock them. All the swag (I used Overnight Prints) and promo is also up to you, so get ready for lots of computer time.

And there you have it! I hope some of these resources will be helpful to those of you planning a similar journey, or who just like to know the process.

Thanks, Erin, for having me!
And now...for the drawing to win Kelley's latest novel...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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