Traditional Vs. Self-Publishing

It couldn’t be an (unofficial) series on publishing if we didn’t discuss both publishing paths, now would it?

So, where to start?

Many people know how traditional publishing works, and they trust the process, but I think a bunch of people don’t consider self publishing because they don’t trust it. Will my story be seen? If there’s not a publishing company backing it, will people still pick my book up off the shelves?

These worries are consistent throughout all of writers and authors alike. No one wants to publish the wrong way and hurt their book’s chances of being seen. And that’s why I’ve brought to light the pros and cons of both self-publishing and traditional publishing.

Now, let me tell you that I’m going to try my very hardest to be unbiased in this blog post. Naturally I’ll have just a *tiny* bit of bias because I self-published, but I will do my very best to present both sides to you without trying to make you pick one way over the other. I’ll even leave the links I used at the bottom so you can do some more research if you’d like. 😉

Pros of Traditional Publishing

[1] You will have a literary agent who will submit your manuscript to publishing houses.

[2] Once you’ve signed a contract with a publishing house, they will hire the best professional editors, cover artists, and formatters to work on your book.

[3] You don’t have to pay money to get your book out there. In fact, the publishing house will pay you for your book.

[4] Your book will have a greater reach in the world. Your publishing house and literary agent can pull the necessary strings to get your story on major bookstore’s shelves. Readers will also naturally trust your book if it’s traditionally published because of the reputation that self-published books have gained.

[5] You will spend less time marketing your book and more time writing your next one.

Cons of Traditional Publishing

[1] You will not receive much book royalty money.

[2] You only write the story, nothing else. You won’t have much of a say in the cover design, blurb, marketing strategies, etc. You will lose almost all creative control of your own story, and even the sequel if you write one.

[3] There is a LONG publishing process that comes along with self-publishing. Publishing houses publish their books in the order that they were submitted, so your book will be put at the bottom of the list. It could be anywhere from 1 to 2.5 years for your book to be published.

[4] There is a lot of rejection that comes with self-publishing, from literary agents and publishing houses alike.

[5] You must sign a complicated contract with the publishing house, and you will lose the rights to your own book. This includes the right to a sequel (which you may or may not have planned for).

Pros of Self-Publishing

[1] Every book can be published quickly. With Amazon KDP, most books go live within 72 hours of submitting your files.

[2] You have complete creative control over your own story, cover design, blurb, formatting, marketing, etc.

[3] Nothing has to be permanent. If you feel the need to rewrite the story, find a new cover, or reformat, you can do it with ease (again, the new version of the book is normally up within 72 hours on Amazon KDP).

[4] You own your manuscript, and no one can tell you what or what not to do with it.

[5] You will get higher royalty rates.

Cons of Self-Publishing

[1] Your book’s marketing rests on you and you alone (unless you hire someone). You will have to give up some time writing your next book to research and put effort into marketing your published book.

[2] You will have to pay for professionals to design your cover, format your book, and editors.

[3] It will be difficult for bookstores to stock your book because you can not accept book returns like a publishing house could.

[4] Your book might be viewed as lesser quality than if you traditionally published because of the reputation surrounding self-publishing.

[5] You will have to fight the swarms of other books within your genre, and with Amazon KDP, much of your exposure to readers will depend on the algorithm.

In conclusion, both self-publishing and traditional publishing have their fair share of pros and cons. When deciding which is right for you, you should determine the things that are most important for your publishing journey. If you find that a larger audience is more important than control over your book’s cover design, traditional publishing is the way to go. If you’d rather do everything yourself and have complete creative control, self-publishing is the better option.

So when deciding, you should determine what is most important to you, weigh the options, and go from there. I wish you all the best of luck in your publishing journeys!! And if you want to do some more research for yourself, the links I used are down below (but there’s certainly more resources on this subject!)

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The Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing