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  • Writer's pictureMJ Rodriguez

Can you say Indie?

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

I’ve been debating the issue of traditional publishing versus independent publishing (self-publishing). I’ve read several articles about this issue, some arguing for traditional publishing, touting it as the only credible route for an author to take for their baby (book), and others arguing that self-publishing is as credible albeit more expensive.

I realize that when a writer hires an editor, which is quite costly, and a cover designer, also expensive, publishing can cost a bunch. I mean a bunch! I haven’t gone that route for several reasons, number one being time. I read a lot about writing, including articles, blogs, and posts on social media by those who have or are in the process of publishing their work. The things I read say writing query letters and proposals to agents, editors and publishers is a long, arduous process, and if and when you do find someone who accepts your work, it takes eighteen months to two years for it to be published.


I’m not a young person with my whole life ahead of me. I’m a retired teacher. But even if I did, time is time, and you can’t get back what you spend. Right?

So here’s my view on publishing, as little as I know. Remember, I have not traditionally published anything, so this may be a little skewed.

Traditional Publishing

· Takes too long

· Publisher controlled

· Publisher keeps most of the earnings

· Publisher expects author to market book

· Will edit book

· Will design the book cover

· Books are returnable so big book stores may allow the author to have book signings


· Much quicker

· Author controlled

· Author keeps most of the money

· Author must market the book

· Author must find a trustworthy editor who will charge a lot

· Author must design the cover or pay a graphic designer, which can cost a lot

· Books are not returnable, so big book stores may not allow book signings unless the author has a big following

Many consider traditional publishing to be the only credible way to get a book published. While it is true that anyone can publish almost anything through self-publishing (I’ve seen some of the writing by independent authors—eek!), the bar has been raised considerably and a lot of good work is done by Indie Authors. In fact, I’ve read some work done by traditional publishers that made me cringe. Editors are just people with their own perceptions and margin of error. Just like me and you.

I'm not saying I would not use a traditional publisher if one begged me for a book (ahem!). I recently had an agent ask me for a proposal. but for various reasons, I never sent one. Some have urged me to send one and try to get a publisher to publish my WIP. Who knows. I may before it's over.

Can you say Indie Author?

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Patricia Clark Blake

Love you thoughts on indie writers...We see eye to eye on lots of things...especially the time element.

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