Traditional vs. Self-Publishing Blew Up Facebook

For me traditional publishing means poverty. But self-publish? No wayMy Facebook page blew up with comments after I shared an article written for The Guardian by Ros Barber entitled, “For me traditional publishing means poverty, but self-publishing? No way.”


She believes that making a living as a writer is almost impossible when being traditionally published since authors receive such a low percentage on the sale of each book. But self-publishing is much worse given the author is stuck with marketing. She went on to slam anyone who spams up his Twitter feed with book sales.

If you want all the deets, please read this article.

My only comment on Facebook was, “Interesting!” I thought a neutral response would encourage others to sound off. Believe me, I heard them loud and clear.

Barber calls self-publishing “a terrible idea” and enters the danger zone. There are many ways to become published these days. Agents are no longer gatekeepers. There are many publishers who will accept un-agented queries. Self-publishing may be appropriate too.

Despite what Barber says there is no right or wrong way. It’s your choice.

There are a lot of hybrid authors, like Chuck Wendig, who have self-published and have been traditionally published. He seems pretty successful to me.

Now I will use myself as an example:

I am an unpublished author.

Plan A.

Currently, I am querying agents for representation and hope to have my book traditionally published sometime before the next millennium.

If I exhaust my list of agents, I will turn to:

Plan B.

I will query publishers directly. There is a wide range of them from boutique to Big Five. I would only query those with a marketing plan in place.

If I exhaust that list, I will be bummed, but will definitely turn to:

Plan C.


Vanity presses contact me all the time. They are willing to package formatting, cover art, marketing, etc., for a price. The other option is to pay individual professionals or I can do it all myself. *gulp*

I rarely go down this road of thinking since I believe I can get my book published, traditionally.


I do agree with Barber on one point. The only way to improve our craft is by writing a ton. Eventually, we will improve. Writing a book is nothing like writing a blog post or an article for The Guardian. There is so much to learn. No one knows it all. Sorry, Mr. Patterson.

Kidding! I would love to collaborate with you someday.

No matter what kind of publishing you choose, you will be successful at selling your book if you write a good one.

Now excuse me. I have to polish mine.

What’s your opinion? Traditional, self-pub, or hybrid?

Go ahead. Blow up my comment section.

Click for more of my Wild Ride.

96 thoughts on “Traditional vs. Self-Publishing Blew Up Facebook

Add yours

  1. My self-published book was a disaster, though that may have had more to do with the content than anything else…
    I wish you all the best, Susie; if anyone can make it, it’s you.


    1. I think you take self-effacing to a whole new level, Hook and underestimate your talent. Keep on writing!
      As far as making it, I find it’s a steep and frustrating uphill climb. After all the comments pro-self-publishing, I wonder why I’m putting myself through it. But thanks, Hook!


  2. I couldn’t find a publisher for my debut thriller, though I’ve had other books published by Big 5 publishers, and neither could my agent. He suggested I self-publish, as I’d had soem success with indie romcoms under another name. So I did, doing all the editing and cover work etc myself.

    My thriller has now sold coming up to 50,000 copies (since September ’15) and hit No. 1 in the UK Kindle chart in December, with very little marketing. It’s been picked up by Amazon Publishing’s Thomas & Mercer, who have given me a very generous 2-book contract for ebook and paperback worldwide. So, erm, pay no attention to naysayers like Ros Barber, who very rudely calls people like me ‘fools’. Whatever.

    If you have a great book to sell, and are focused on your readers, not what other people might think of your career choices, you will almost certainly succeed. Good luck! 🙂


    1. WOW! Thanks so much for sharing your success story! It is so great to hear about your journey. 50,000 copies in 6 months is insane! Do you think you already had a following and that helped?
      I will give it the old college try until summer and research self-publishing.
      Thanks again for sharing your story!


      1. Thanks, I did have a following, but not one that’s 50,000 strong! It is important though to have at least a small core of readers who follow you from book to book, especially if you jump genres, and that takes a bit of time to build up. Good luck with yours!


  3. No matter the method of publishing, it’s still all about ‘content, content, content’. Look at the many hits you get here, and the great feedback you receive. 🙂


    1. Aww! Thanks, Kevin! You made my day.
      I’ll keep polishing my manuscript until it’s published and have a plan to query until this summer. At least we have lots of options! Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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