Why I’ve Decided to Pursue Traditional Publishing

I’ve always been a believer in independent authors. Over the years of writing the Penstricken blog, I have been privileged enough to interview and write reviews for a bunch of excellent self-published authors. Seriously, I stand in awe of so many of you folks.

However, I could never quite decide if self-publishing was right for me or not. It was something I thought about a lot, but it never really seemed urgent to make a firm decision until I polished off that final draft.

Then I wrote the first Detective Mo book. I had always thought of myself as more of a novelist than a picture book author, and I really only wrote Detective Mo for my daughter in the first instance, after I was inspired by an imaginative game I saw her playing with one of her dolls. I was pretty insecure about it at first (especially my drawings) and wasn’t sure at that time if I was going to write more kids’ books anyway, so I decided to self-publish on KDP.

There are many advantages to self-publishing this way but if there’s one stinker of a disadvantage, it’s how difficult and expensive it can be to market your book once it has been published.

I’m a writer. Writing stories is what I’m good at. I haven’t got a clue how to peddle a product and it made me realise something:

If I believe in my stories enough to publish them (and I do) then why would I want them to go unread because of my own ineptitude when it comes to marketing? Why not simply have my work traditionally published?

Oh yes. It’s very hard to get your work accepted. My work may yet go unread and it’s almost certain that I’ll be pitching it for years before it gets published but when it finally does get published, there’s a much better chance of it reaching an audience. It probably won’t make me rich and famous (to be honest, I sort of dread the thought of that anyway) but it will, at least, get read.

So, I will continue to self-publish Detective Mo because I’ve already started in this vein and I still have many more cases for Mo to crack (because kids actually seem to like it!) but when it comes to my novels, or any other children’s stories I write, it’s going to be traditional publishing or bust from now on.

Don’t misunderstand me. I still believe in indie authors. If I had the marketing skills as well as the writing skills, I probably would continue to self-publish. I have absolutely no time for the notion that self-publishing is somehow indicative of failure, but having tried it, I just think traditional publishing is the right choice for my books.

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