Self Publish or Die

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Zoe Harrington – Guest Post – A Fork in the Road

A Fork in the Road

Zoe Harrington

Anyone who takes writing seriously has spared a thought about publishing options. Most serious writers want to get their stories out there. So, naturally, they research different options.

There are two clear routes down the road to publishing. One is Traditional and the other is Indie (self-publishing.) Often, writers spend a lot of their time – months even – weighing the pros and cons of both. It’s like coming to that proverbial fork in the road; only nowadays there isn’t path less traveled by.

What if it wasn’t all so black and white?

What if you could hike through the forest between the roads?

You can.

Say you want to go Traditional, but you’re not ready yet. You want to do other things as well as writing; you don’t want those massive deadlines to loom over your head. You could go Indie. The deadlines, should you choose to set any, would be your own. If you miss one, there’s no one there making you feel bad. But at some point in the future, you want to try a major publisher. Guess what? If your Indie sales are poor, you’ve ruined your chances of a publishing contract. What are you going to do? Are you going to risk your dream for a shot at self-pub?

There is a third option, a grey area so to speak. Have you ever heard of wattpad? Maybe Authonomy? If you haven’t, allow me to sum them up.

These sites hold thousands of free books – all online for you to read. If you sign up, you can comment, vote and add your favourites to a bookshelf/reading list. You know what else you can do? You can upload your own writing. Get it out there, where potentially thousands of readers are waiting. You can set your copyright preferences (on wattpad) and because of the sites nature, copy & paste is disabled, so you don’t have to worry about someone stealing your work.

Many of you may be thinking, ‘But isn’t this something on amateurs do?’

I’m not going to lie; there are amateurs on both sites. But if you look at half of the books self published yearly, aren’t they amateur as well? It isn’t any different. In fact, I know talented published authors – Traditional and Indie – that also put their books on wattpad.

You’d be surprised how good the talent is on these things.

I plan on hiking through the forest that is wattpad. When the time is right, I’ll hitch a lift down the Traditional route. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the flexibility of it, and the exposure.

I don’t think it’s a bad idea, but what do you think?

A/N: If you have any questions about these sites, you can email me at zoe-harrington(@)live(.)co(.)uk 

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