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The Dilemma of Choosing What to Do Next: Self-publishing Versus Regular Publishing Houses

Wondering how to resolve the dilemma of self-publishing versus regular publishing houses

My third novel is officially complete. It has been edited and is good to go. But, for whatever reason, I am dragging my heels to release it. I have oh so many excuses:

– the timing isn't right ...

– I have other things on the go ...

– the weather is too hot ...

– I am under the weather ...

– I am binge-watching on Netflix

– my children / my family / my friends / my dog ... need me (P.S., I don't have a dog)

There may be more than a grain of truth in any – or all – of the aforementioned reasons, but the real truth is, that I am grappling with a dilemma that other writers before me have faced. After self-publishing my first two novels, I am suddenly considering venturing out of my comfort zone, and trying the more traditional route of publishing.

Why now? I don't know. Truly.

It's not because I have suddenly decided that self-publishing is wrong. I strongly believe in the power of the industry. I appreciate the independence, the freedom, the reigns that are in my own two hands that enable me to steer and direct myself freely and autonomously.

Perhaps it is a masochistic desire to go through the process of query-rejection, query-rejection until someone (hopefully) takes an interest?

Perhaps it is a type of a peace offering to the corporate world that I left so abruptly behind. I left with so much enthusiasm for doing something completely different, learning from scratch, trying and failing, and (hopefully) also succeeding in my own right? Perhaps now I am in a place to reconcile the two worlds?

Perhaps it is because of the feedback that I have received regarding my novel that makes me both happy and indignant... "this one is really compelling, you should try publishing it 'properly' this time." I don't subscribe to this dismissive sentiment about independent publishing, and yet these type of comments do make me consider the following:

Maybe it makes sense that not every part of this process is in my hands? I already have an editor. I already hire someone else to do my cover art. Why is it so obscene to let others professionals in to do other parts that – frankly – I currently don't do well enough by myself?

Maybe I shouldn't knock traditional publishing until I have tried it. Rejections and all. Isn't that part of the learning and growing process?

Maybe I have something to learn in the formal process as well, that will make me stronger and more resolved to stick to the self-publishing world, and will perhaps even give me more tools to do it better for my next novel?

Maybe I will discover a world that works better for me personally and professionally?

It is with these thoughts that I deliberate and procrastinate.

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