Friday, September 07, 2018

Writing: "The Road Not Taken"

I've seen a couple of posts recently about what a writer does when their contract comes to an end. Matter of fact, I've written about it myself, talking about the times I've been "between engagements." I've been fortunate enough to have ten of my twelve novels released by a "traditional" publisher. My four (soon to be five) novellas and two latest novels are independently-published. At least for the foreseeable future, I'll probably remain a "hybrid" writer (i.e., published both by traditional and indie means). I've made my choice, but it wasn't easy.

The dichotomy brings to mind Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken." The as-yet-unpublished writer, like the protagonist in this poem, has two choices--to seek publication from a conventional publishing house or go it on their own as an "indie." Each has good and bad points. These have been set out elsewhere, and I won't belabor the material by repeating it. Let me simply say that, whichever road the writer chooses, there will be both regret and joy. I've considered a number of factors in making my choice. And, with the fluid situation in publishing, these are subject to change.

When I've asked before, virtually none of my respondents have paid much attention to the publishing house who name is one a book. The author (and his/her reputation, if they've had work published before that) seems to be the determining factor. Do you agree? Let me know.

Tweet with a single click. "How is choosing traditional vs. indie publication similar to Frost's 'The Road Not Taken'?"


8 comments:

GREG FULLER said...

I've listening to the radio on my way to work. Sometime The Maple Press publishing company has announced they're looking for authors to submit their work. And when I hear their advertisement I think of you...so bad I wanted e-mail, or write your Facebook page about The Maple Company. If you are interested; here's their information:

Address: 480 Willow Springs Ln, York, PA 17406
Phone: (717) 764-5911

Even if you don't use their services...no matter how your novels and novellas are published...I'll still read them

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Greg, but if I choose to submit to a publisher, I do it through my agent.

GREG FULLER said...

Roger that!!!

Priscilla Bettis said...

I always look at the publisher's name, but not as a deciding factor whether or not to read the book. I look because I'm trying to learn more about the complex world of the novelist.

Richard Mabry said...

Priscilla, it's one factor, but not important for the reader in most cases. On the other hand, so far as the author is concerned...

Patricia Bradley said...

It's sometimes easier to get your name out there through traditional publishing--if you have a good publicity department at the trad publisher and they spend the money on advertising. :-) Like the others, I'd read your books no matter who published them.

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, if you have a good publishing company behind you, it's great. But their question, unfortunately, is the same as the question of a sports team to last year's star--"What have you done for me lately?" 'Tis a puzzlement.

Patricia Bradley said...

I agree, Richard. You're only as good as your last book! Byt the grace of God and thankfully, I'm still there. ;-)