“Are you traditional or indie?”

It’s the writer equivalent of WHAT’S YOUR SIGN?

Now that I’m whipping my manuscript into shape with an eye to publication, I’ve been asked this loaded question.

Do a quick google search and you can see that it’s a polarizing topic. It’s like Coke vs Pepsi. There are die hards out there who will never let a sip of the other (Coke/Pepsi/Indie/Traditional) touch their lips.

Here’s what I make of it so far.

Writers who are INDIE are:

rebellious, independent, motivated, visionary, controller of own destiny, hard worker with good marketing skills…

….but may be misguided in thinking their work is the best there is because, sorry, sweetheart, just cuz your mom says she liked it doesn’t mean you should sell it on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents.

That place needs to come with a warning sign: WARNING: Bad editing and bad books abound! It’s hit or miss.

Some hits/success stories but too many misses.

It can be hard to find your gem of a book amongst all the ones that stink.

And writers who favour TRADITIONAL are:

old fashioned, stick in the muds, who don’t realize the publishing world has changed.

They’re seeking Big Daddy approval in an acceptance letter that will probably never come and even if it does, you will be gouged financially for them doing all the work you could have done on your own anyway (or so say the Indie crowd)…

On the other hand, there is definite cache in being accepted by a publisher, a sense of accomplishment and pride.

There’s also the potential of working with a like minded person/community, who can help you make your book even better than your mom thinks it is. They can assist with the business side and have the access to the channels of marketing and distribution that normal mortals can’t reach, no matter how much they tweet, blog and flash their social media and marketing flair.

So, where should I stand?

I’ve tried the Indie approach, self publishing two iBooks through my ed-tech company BetterThanWorksheets Inc (@BTWorksheets). My husband and I, being teachers, wanted to make literacy learning interactive and fun. So I wrote and he designed Sarah the Super Spy and You Know the Answer Adventures. A third is in the works: a short story collection about zombies with an emphasis on Blooms Taxonomy style questions.

All very exciting. However…we create these in our ‘spare time’ and most of that time is invested in the creating process. We haven’t yet mastered the marketing component. It’s not our forte and it’s a steep learning curve.

To sum: going indie takes time/energy/focus that we haven’t got yet.

We love our iBooks but can’t seem to get them to the readers who would love them, too.

I’ve found this aspect of indie publishing frustrating. I don’t want that for my novel.

I also don’t want it to languish in the hit or miss netherworld of Kindle 99 cents.

I want the support of a traditional publisher and I’m willing to write the query letters and face the rejection letters in order to get it.

I want my novel to have a ‘home’.

So if you’re going to ask me…what’s my sign?

I’m going to have to say, in this instance: traditional, baby! It’s traditional.

PS. And now I ask my writer tweeps…what’s your sign, baby? Leave in the comments below.