The goal of any novel writer is to get a book published and there are two main avenues to do this. Writers can go the self-publishing route or the traditional route of getting an agent. Which is better for profit, ease of use and reaching the ultimate goal?
The traditional route is a long one. I you go the route you must query a publisher. This involves either sending or mailing your manuscript to multiple locations. It involves lots of time, postage, and print costs for hard copies. If it is not formatted properly, or does not catch the eye of the person whose desk it lands on it is tossed out. They may not even glance at it if you format it correctly. It is nothing person to you, they simply have too much to do that they cannot humanly look at every manuscript that lands on their desk.
You can heighten your chances of getting them to notice your manuscript if you have exactly what they are looking for. You are in essence sending your manuscript to a stranger you know nothing about, so it may be difficult at best to assure it is something they are willing to take a chance upon.
Once an agent accepts your manuscript, you might get a small advance, as your book undergoes editing where it might lose that unique flavor you gave it. The book cover is not in your control. Granted a professional who ensures that it will sell creates it. What if you do not like the book cover? You have to learn to live with it.
The simpler route is self-publishing, where you maintain the most control of your baby. There is no need to wait for an agent to say, I want this book. There is no postage or printing costs involved. If you do the cover yourself, you have total control there.
You also begin to profit from your hard work if someone buys it. You do not have to wait until a high royalty is generated before the agent cuts you a check. Amazon has a 2 month wait after the profits reach the payout amount, while websites like Smashwords pay quarterly after a writer makes the payout amount.
Indie authors like Amanda Hocking, first went the traditional route. After searching for a while, she turned to self-publishing, made her mark, and then a publisher found her. She is, what I along with many other indie authors aspire to be. Ms. Hocking goes to sleep each night knowing her books are finding good homes with people who love them and she is profiting quite well.
She knew that people would enjoy her characters and the worlds she created. She set a goal and she simply jumped in feet first and made her dream a reality.
I encourage all of you who have taken the time to read this article to go the self-publishing route. I have either made my own covers or had my cousin create them. I retain creative control on my covers along with my characters and the worlds I create.
I sell digital copies on Amazon and sell them on Smashwords, which distributes them to various websites. For print copies, I use Creatspace. Through Createspace I have the option of selling not only on Amazon but other online retailers, major book stores and of course libraries as well. With a bit of luck and many prayers, I am living my dream.