04 April 2007

Traditional Publishers


Despite the widespread view that self-published books are lower quality, I'm in no rush to hook up with a traditional publisher. Yes, I've sent a book proposal to a local NY publisher, and I do hope they'll say yes, but if they don't, I'm going to continue doing that thing I do - even though it means it's harder to get into regular bookstores. Here are a few of the reasons finding a traditional publisher is not a big priority.

1) Query letters are a pain to write (and take a long time). I'd rather spend my time writing my books than writing about my books.

2) Traditional publisher's timelines are painfully long. Lulu is amazingly and wonderfully quick.

3) I have a day job. This is significant not just because it pays the bills (so I don't have to worry about living off book royalties), but also because it take up so much of my time. I can't really commit to doing road trips, readings, signings, etc. If a publisher invests their time & resources to my book, it would be reasonable for them to expect me to invest some time too... and at this point, I just can't do it.

4) In all honesty, I'm a little bit afraid of editors. Partly this is a time thing (see #3 above), and partly it's an artistic integrity thing. I love working with the editor at Defense AT&L, and I trust all the changes she makes to my stuff, but then I've worked with her for several years now. I'm a little afraid that an editor at a book publisher would come in and try to make changes to my stuff without first establishing a relationship or understanding my vision. Partly, this is because that's exactly what happened the one time I (almost) worked with a traditional publisher (I had to walk away...).

2 comments:

Kim said...

You'll just have to start your own publishing company, with Kim and Beth as your editors.

dad said...

Hi Dan: I know that you value both 'integrity' and 'loyalty'....rightly so.... I also know you well enough to know which comes first to you if you are forced to choose one..... proud of you son, love, Dad