It’s a big decision, and weighs heavily on authors wanting to get their work out.
I’ve thought about this as I’ve self published my own books – and continued to submit them to traditional publishers.
I’ve finally come up with a short answer to this long question.
If you can wait to see your work published, then definitely continue to submit to traditional publishers.
Set a schedule, set a number of publishers to submit to, create a good book proposal, and stay with it until your time, and list, is up. I
f you don’t get a response, consider the issue again and once again, see if you can wait.
Because ultimately, a traditional publisher can provide us with a team of people who can get our books to places we can’t get on our own. Because we are writers, and publishing is a full time business on its own and keeps us from our writing.
But if you can’t wait to publish your work – for instance, if you know you could be making money right now because it is a niche book with a niche market that you can reach on your own, then go ahead and do it.
Do it well, and carefully, and thoughtfully and strive for the editorial and presentation standards set by traditional publishers.
And continue to submit to traditional publishers, with the understanding that they probably won’t be interested until you can show significant sales.
Because, again, ultimately, we want to keep writing – and publishing work takes us away from that, even as it gets our books into our reader’s hands, which is, after all, the point.