Hey, guys! In case you missed the first installment in our series, here’s the deal…
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hearing a lot of conflicting terms tossed around the blogosphere lately.  Writers are braving the murky waters of publishing without a solid grasp of where they’re headed, praying they’ll wash ashore somewhere—anywhere. And that’s a problem.
 
NA Alley isn’t just about promoting New Adult as a category. We want to keep you guys informed of things going on in the industry, too. We want to open up meaningful dialogues and encourage discussion. So, I’m starting a series on industry terms...
Once every seven weeks, we explore a new term (or series of terms) together. Opinions are shared, information is questioned, and we all learn to see things from a different perspective. :) So, without further ado...

TRADITIONAL
To most people, 'traditionally published' means an author's book is handled by a publishing house. If he or she claims to have gone the conventional route, we assume they’ve queried, received some kind of request, communicated back and forth, and then signed a contract. Sometimes this is done through an agent; sometimes it isn't. Pretty simple, right?

Never in this industry…
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This week, we have two schools of thought:
  • Some believe traditionally published authors are backed by large publishing houses, which provide advances and boast widespread distribution—eliminating small presses from the equation.

  • Others feel the size of the publishing house doesn’t matter. As long as the author isn’t going solo, they’ve taken the traditional route.

What do you think?
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More Information
  • Behler Blog seems to think it boils down to distribution.
  • Nathan Bransford believes traditional publishers “pay you, will handle most things for you and assume all risk in exchange for certain rights to your book.”
  • Kristen Lamb doesn’t take a stance on traditional publishing’s definition, but suggests 5 mistakes could be killing it. (Dun, dun, dunnn...)
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Post a Comment

  1. I love your posts. You always make things so easy to understand. :)

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  2. I think traditional publishing is basically anything that is not self-publishing. It just comes in different scales. Like getting published with one of the big 6 would be a lot different than getting published with a small press. In fact, most authors that start out at small presses get picked up by big ones: like jennifer l. armentrout, who went from spencer hill to Hyperion. It's just different. Self-publishing is "non-traditional" but it may quickly become traditional.

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    Replies
    1. I completely agree, Summer. Being published by a small press is still traditional--it's just on a smaller scale. :)

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  3. Nice explaining. No matter how you're published it's nice to get your book out there.

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  4. I've always considered trad pub anything that's not self pub--it doesn't matter the size of the publishing house. But now I'm intrigued to go check out those links and read up more on the topic!

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    1. I agree. :) Thanks for stopping by, Morgan!

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  5. I agree with Summer. Traditional publishing is someone else pulling the strings, forking out the money. Thank God! I published my first novel and I'm here to say it was expensive! This time has been much easier on my pocket book. Plus! They had be do a big reading 700K south and get this! They paid me! And they covered all my expensive! It was the highlight of my year.

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    1. Wow! How cool is that? :) Maybe they'll send you out to Ohio next time!

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  6. Interesting!

    What about small presses? Are they considered indie or traditional? I'd consider them more indie, myself.

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    1. Hmm...

      In most cases, I consider small presses traditional, but still independent of the Big 6. Can they be both? :) Thanks for stopping by, lbdiamond!

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  7. it depends. if you only have two categories, then traditional is letting the publisher handle things
    and self pub would be the other choice

    but traditional is changing and doesnt have to be one of the big six anymore, primarily because of ebooks - those are unlimited in distribution! it's all how you look at it!

    great post =)

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    1. You're right, Tara! As with most things in this industry, it's all a matter of perspective. :) Thank you!

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  8. I think that because we're in such a huge and speedy transition it's hard to get a grasp on how to feel about publishing, period.

    There's still the camp that says "traditionally" published = status and "indie" published . . . not so much. In fact, they feel indie publishing is detrimental to your career in the business. When I spoke to an agent and said I was planning to publish my next book on my own, he warned me that it wasn't a good idea if I was serious about being traditionally published in the future.

    I stewed about that for several months, and then self-published. I guess I'll find out if he was right, but frankly I like being independent. I've made a lot of mistakes doing it on my own, but I've learned so much, and I feel very free about writing what I please. I don't feel shackled by queries and waiting for responses. I also like getting those checks from Amazon. :-)

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    1. Was said agent still living in the '90s? Tons of self-pubbers are getting picked up these days! I mean, unless an author is cranking out weak books, self-publishing shouldn't be detrimental to their career at all.

      Besides, your books are always awesome; you don't have to worry about it. ;)

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  9. Wish I'd read this blog way, way, back when!

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  10. I always thought that having a publisher name on your book was traditional. Big 6 would be nice, but published is published. Thanks, Carrie!

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    Replies
    1. I'm with you. Published is published, and I'm all for simplicity! :)

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  11. I agree with the majority here - traditional means the publishing costs and risks are worn by a company, not the author. This company could be small or large.

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  12. In saying that, when I hear the term 'traditional publishing' I automatically think 'big six'. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hah! Yeah, I think we're all conditioned to have that initial reaction. ;)

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