That’s not a question I can answer for you since I can only answer for myself, based off what I want as a writer, based on my drives, expectations and experience. I see this topic come up a lot and usually don’t pay much attention because all the hating publishers who don’t deserve it is childish and it gets old. Not that there aren’t bad publishers out there, with self-publishing there are more presses(?) popping up than ever before. I know you’ll want to figure out which direction is the right one for you, or perhaps a little of both.
Here’s what helped make up my mind to go with Delirium Books instead of trying to be a self-publishing superstar (good luck with that if it’s your dream!)
1. I have a professional editor’s opinion, and I know the little bigot in us says that a professional opinion doesn’t matter (until we label ourselves professionals, then our opinion better matter! Please.) It’s important for me to have someone tell me when I’m coasting by, which I can do sometimes. I want that push to make something better than I’d do on my own. It’s why part of my writing time is caught up in trying to impress my first readers.
2. I get money up front for hardcover editions, money up front for paperback editions, plus I get royalties.
3. I get more royalties from ebooks, too. And I know my publisher pays me a great royalty because I did my research. I would actually make less per copy if I self-published them because I’d be dumping my money from a regular job into cover design, layout, marketing, copy editing, etc. I’d rather make the more royalties from my publisher handling all that other crap instead of it coming out of my pocket and out of my time.
4. I get original book covers that I don’t have to pay a dime for (because my publisher pays for it.)
5. I get a copy editor with sharp eyes who picks up things me and my first readers and everybody else involved missed (because my publisher pays for the copy-editing, too.)
6. I get author copies of hardcovers and paperbacks that I can give to my first readers because I appreciate how much they always, always help me.
7. I get physical books I can take to conventions and book fairs, and with those physical books can do readings and signings and sell them in person.
8. I get to fill up my bookshelf with my work (or my bed, it happens.) Here’s what’s been published in the last year or so.
9. I get a marketing director (Dave Thomas, not of Wendy’s fame) who does a fabulous job.
10. I get to have physical copies for interviews with the local papers and surrounding areas.
And that’s why I went with Delirium Books instead of self-publishing. I don’t have the mind for the self-publishing route, I’d rather be creating and reading. Getting to the point where I was good enough to sell my work wasn’t easy (I’ve been stupid most of my life) but it’s paying off, and I know it’s the right thing for me. Go think about what’s right for you. Weigh the pros and cons, not just the idea of freedom. Freedom doesn’t exist. You’re bound in an unspoken contract with every reader who picks up your book and you want to give them the best product you can, right? Go on, get out of here (but tell your writing friends to check out my Writing Advice essays, and come back yourself.)
Also check out, and if you enjoy it, spread the word about my free serial novel THE COLLECTED SONGS OF SONNELION.