A lot of people don’t know that I am still very open to the idea of getting traditionally published for some projects; it’s just that realistically it is a tough journey. As an author, if you want to concentrate mainly on writing and there seems to be a call for your book’s concept in the mass market right now, then keep on that trail. I suggest you speak to as many literary agents as you can, to suss out the chances for your story. Sometimes it’s a matter of knowing what each publisher is currently hunting for, and for that only a commissioning editor or a literary agent can help.
A mass market published book has to meet a high standard in quality, especially so that bookstore buyers see it as an attractive package. That’s why publishers seek out the best editors, designers, artists, photographers, etc…so that they can produce high-quality books. Quality definitely matters.
Some self-publishers think they can cut corners and get away with a cheap production. For an eBook and a quick read, quality of layout is not going to matter as much (except if it’s non-fiction), but for a printed book that you give to clients, it does. If the line spacing is only single and the page numbering starts at 7, then your book may make a less than perfect impression. Yet achieving the standards of a mass market publication is far from impossible. It is definitely achievable, as long as you’re prepared to hand your baby over to an editor and designer. It all depends on what you think your Return on Investment will be.
Well, now I have to go and learn some new software for creating eBooks in different formats, as often the publishing wizards are unreliable. Hopefully this will afford my clients a cheaper and better route to eBook nirvana.