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Self-Publishing VS Traditional Publishing

You may have heard that self-publishing is the way of the future. You might have also heard that traditional publishing is better than self-publishing, or at least easier. Which one should you choose? This guide will help you decide which path to take!

Self-publishing and traditional publishing have pros and cons.

Self-publishing and traditional publishing have their pros and cons. If you’re considering self-publishing, here are some of the things you should know:

  • Self-publishing is a great way to get your book out there. When you self-publish, no one else has control over when or if your book gets released. You can make all the decisions about what goes into it, which means that by doing so, you have total creative control.

  • Self-publishing is a great way to make money. Once upon a time (like 20 years ago), authors relied on agents and publishers for everything from editing to distribution because they didn't have access to these services themselves. Nowadays anyone can hire these professionals on their own—and in fact many do! A lot of authors use traditional publishing as an avenue for getting their books out there but also use it as an opportunity to self publish later on down the road when they want more creative freedom over their work or want full ownership of their intellectual property rights (IPR).

Self-Publishing VS Traditional Publishing

An author can choose to self-publish or go with a traditional publisher. Self-publishing is the more popular option, with an estimated 90% of books being self-published. How does one decide which route to take?

The biggest difference between self-publishing and going through a traditional publishing company is that with traditional publishers, your book will be professionally edited and proofread by professionals who do this for a living (and who are therefore paid accordingly). In addition, they will provide you with layout services like cover design and formatting your manuscript into different file formats such as PDF or MobiPocket so it’s ready for sale on all platforms like Amazon Kindle eBooks or Barnes & Noble Nookbooks.

They may even help market your book through various outlets like social media sites like Facebook or Instagram (or websites such as Goodreads).

Self Publishing

Self-publishing is the process of publishing a book without the involvement of an established publisher. The author or the author's agent typically takes care of all aspects of this, including editing, designing and printing.

Self-publishing can be done by an individual or by a third party on behalf of the author.

Self-Publishing Pros:

You have full control over all aspects of the book-making process. This means you can decide what to title your book, how much it costs, and even which words appear on each page. You also get to choose what font size you write in and which words are capitalized or italicized or bolded. And if you want that typeface to be Comic Sans? Go for it!

There’s no publishing middleman slowing down your creativity or making changes that don’t fit with your vision for a project—and we all know how important it is for content creators to stay true to their own vision!

You have full control over all aspects of the book-making process.

You will be in charge of every aspect of your book's creation, from choosing its cover design to editing and formatting the text. You can set up your own publishing company or publish through an existing one like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or CreateSpace. This gives you complete control over how things are done, but it also means that you will have to take on many roles yourself—or hire a professional for each one!

If you want to self-publish in specific countries or regions only, this might be easier than trying to get accepted by traditional publishers who might not want your book anyway. This option is especially useful if there are legal restrictions on where your book can be sold because of its subject matter (for example: graphic novels with nudity).

You get to keep all of the profits from your book sales (after expenses).

You get to keep all of the profits from your book sales (after expenses).

You will have to pay for editing, artwork, publicity or anything else.

You can be completely independent, and don't need to rely on others for editing, artwork, publicity or anything else.

You can be completely independent, and don't need to rely on others for editing, artwork, publicity or anything else.

If, like me, you're a control freak and want to do everything yourself—from editing to artwork to publicity—self-publishing is for you. You don't need anyone else's permission or approval; all you need is yourself (and your computer). If it's not done right, it doesn't get done at all. No one will tell you how to run your business if it doesn't meet their standards of quality or taste; no one will say "no" because they don't like the way your book looks or sounds. You can publish however and whenever you want: today? Tomorrow? In three years? Whatever makes sense for YOU!

Self publishing gives writers unprecedented freedom in terms of marketing and promotion as well: there are no deadlines on when books must be published after completion by any particular publisher; there are no rules about what sort of artwork can be used inside or outside the book covers; every writer has an equal shot at getting his/her book reviewed by major news outlets since these outlets have little incentive (or time) to review every single title submitted by everyone who self publishes nowadays—they simply don't have enough resources!

It can be a faster process than going through the traditional publishing route.

You may have heard the common wisdom that self-publishing is faster than traditional publishing. And in some cases, this is true—you can get your book out there in much less time if you self-publish. But what happens when you have to do all of the marketing and promotion yourself? What if you don't know how to promote a book?

That's where the difference comes in: with traditional publishing, a whole team of people helps with promotion and marketing so that it doesn't fall on any single person's shoulders (or at least not just one person). In addition, these companies already have connections with big retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble who will sell your book for you if they're interested enough.

Self-Publishing Cons:

  • You have to do everything yourself.

  • You have to pay for everything yourself.

  • A publisher doesn't help you with anything, including editing your book or marketing it.

  • It's a lot of work and not easy at all. You can't just sit back and wait for readers to come flocking in their masses like they do with traditional publishing. This means that when people buy your book, you won't get paid until those sales start coming in—which could take months or years depending on how popular you are as an author!

You take on all the responsibilities and costs yourself.

  • You have to pay for editing, cover design, formatting and printing.

  • You have to market the book yourself.

  • You have to do all of the work yourself.

There is no guarantee that your book will make you any money at all, let alone a living.

You should also know how much money you’re going to make, before you sign the contract. If it’s not enough to live on, then don’t expect your publisher to pay for your groceries and rent. You have to be realistic about the financial risks involved in self-publishing versus traditional publishing, because there is no guarantee that your book will make you any money at all—let alone living wages.

The publisher takes all of the risk when they publish a book; they are responsible for marketing the book and making sure it sells well enough so that they can recoup their expenses and earn profits as well as earn back their advance payment (the amount of money they give an author upfront). The author gets a smaller percentage of these profits than he would if he had signed with a traditional publisher who took on all this responsibility on their behalf and gave them an advance instead.

It's not always as easy as it sounds - self-publishing means learning how to do many new things which can overwhelm many authors who just want to write and let someone else sort things out for them!

As an author, you will have to learn how to do many things that traditionally-published authors don't.
  • Marketing and promotion: This means marketing yourself as an author, because that's exactly what you are now! You'll need to find out about social media, how to get your books into bookstores and libraries, how to build a website for yourself (or hire someone who knows). It can be overwhelming at first if this is not something you're used to doing.

  • Writing other books: One advantage of traditional publishing is that they often have contracts with authors that include promises of more books being written - but if you self-publish your first book, it will take some time before anyone else reads it unless they come across your book by chance on Amazon or another online retailer (which may not happen). Your best bet is probably going ahead with writing more books anyway so that people who like one of them might find another one later on down the road when they search for other titles based on similar genres or topics which interest them – just make sure each new title has been edited properly before putting it up for sale!

Traditional Publishing

  • If you want to be an author, traditional publishing is a great option.

  • It's also a good option if you're not sure about self-publishing and would like to try it out before committing.

  • You should consider traditional publishing if you have the time and patience for it; there's no doubt that this route will take much longer than self-publishing!

Pros of traditional publishing

Traditional publishing is a team effort, and that team includes people who are experts in their field.

  • A publisher will hire an editor to pore over your manuscript and make sure it’s as good as it can possibly be. They also pay for professional proofreaders to comb through the text once more for typos and grammatical errors, ensuring that you won’t embarrass yourself with an embarrassing typo when your book hits shelves.

  • You get to work with a team of professionals whose job it is to promote your book using their connections within the industry, including reviewers who have access to far more readers than you do on your own.

  • Traditional publishers typically have a larger reach than self-publishing services like Amazon does—which means that more people will see your book! This might mean that traditional publishing has better sales numbers (though this may vary depending on genre). The downside? You don't keep all rights from selling books via traditional methods; instead, publishers generally retain some rights over how their titles are marketed and sold while authors retain others (such as where they sell ebooks).

Cons of traditional publishing

  • You have to wait for a response from an agent. It takes time to hear back from an agent, so if you're looking for fast results and instant gratification, then traditional publishing might not be your best bet.

  • Some agents are picky. Agents are people too and they know what they like (of course), but that doesn't mean they'll like your book or think it's ready for publication yet. If an agent decides that they don't want to represent you after reading your sample chapters or proposal, then tough luck—you're done! Try again next year when there are more submissions than before...or maybe try self-publishing?

  • Agents may not be able to help you get published even if they love your work! Again: this is because agents are busy and often overworked in addition to being extremely picky about who they choose as clients (which brings us back around full circle). Agencies can also sometimes offer bad advice once contracts have been signed through no fault of their own because some publishers require writers' rights agreements that take away control over certain aspects of their creative process (e.g., editing decisions). So unless someone signs on just because he/she loved reading a few pages at random during lunch breaks between meetings with other potential clients who actually committed themselves wholeheartedly towards making sure everything went smoothly from start until finish without any major hiccups happening along the way (which hardly ever happens), odds are good there will still need some tweaking afterwards anyway due simply by virtue of human nature itself being imperfectly perfectible."

Think about what is best for you when deciding which path to take.

When deciding which path to take, you should keep in mind that both self-publishing and traditional publishing can be beneficial in different ways. Self-publishing is great for getting your work out there quickly and cost effectively, while traditional publishing offers more prestige and credibility.

Finding an Agent

Finding an Agent is a lot like finding a good friend. You know, the one who's always there for you and helps you out with everything from paying your bills to going on awkward interviews and buying tampons when they run out of pads.

  • What to look for in a literary agent:

a) They have some experience in publishing (preferably with novels).

b) They have access to other agents or editors at publishing houses who are interested in your book. This means that if your manuscript does eventually get picked up by an editor, it will be easier for them to work with because they already know and trust this person.

c) They're available all the time (or at least most of the time). You want someone who can answer all of your questions without making you wait too long or being unreachable during all business hours (which often coincides with personal ones).

This is a lot to think about and lots to consider.

The decision to go the traditional or self-publishing route should be made with a lot of care and thought. The first step? Be sure you have a good understanding of both paths. When it comes down to it, these two options are very different—and they each have their own pros and cons.

Pros of Traditional Publishing:
  • A reputable publisher will help you produce a quality book by providing editing services, cover design assistance, etc., which can be costly if you do them yourself using freelance editors and designers.

  • You may receive an advance from the publisher (although this isn't always the case).

Cons of Traditional Publishing:
  • Your book will need to go through several rounds of editing before publication; some people may find this frustrating or overly time consuming as they wait for their manuscript "to get approved."

  • Some publishers retain rights to your book indefinitely (meaning you can't publish it anywhere else), so if something happens with that company in the future—like bankruptcy—your work could disappear from existence forever!

In the end, it's all about finding a path that works for you. If you're interested in self-publishing, and you feel like this is right for your project, then go ahead and give it a try! Remember though: there is no shame in traditional publishing either - plenty of great books came from traditional routes and still do. So if you think that might be better for what you're trying to accomplish with your book then by all means follow that path too! The important thing is not which route will get your work out there faster or make more money (those factors should be secondary). It's about picking whichever method feels best suited to what makes sense for YOU as an author; both options have their pros and cons so don't worry too much about which one will somehow magically solve all problems related specifically to YOUR project.

If you're interested in self-publishing and need some help starting to pull everything together, go ahead and visit the following page here OR set up a strategy coaching call here, where I can tell you what I did and how I did it and give you some guidance on the step-by-step process.

Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. You can read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.


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