Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing | Which is Better?

After writing your own book, you are often faced with one question: whether you want to do traditional publishing or self-publishing? But, before we get into the complete details on this topic, let me tell you: it must not be either this one or that.

No matter what you choose, it will not last long — today’s most of the authors like Sam Haskell, E.L. James, Christopher Paolini and many more tried both the ways.  The “hybrid authors” have tried to publish their books, both as the self-publishers and traditionally, and sometimes the same books!

Let us check out some major difference between the traditional publishing and self-publishing?

Traditional publishing

  • Trad-publishing means that intellectual property rights of your manuscript will be bought outright by the publishing company (generally the large multinational). There are many top publishers out there. You can find them everywhere, there are even some good Seattle book publishers that may give you a hand.
  • Publisher can use corporate contacts that will help you to make the book go for sale widely and globally. It means your book will get sold through each e-tailer, but also the chain bookstores, indie bookstores, supermarkets, and more.
  • Looking at the sale it generally happens through the literary agent (novelists, can benefit from having the agent),
  • You have a high chance of getting reviewed by the formal outlets, like newspapers.
  • Your book will certainly come in print – and in 4 separate editions (paperback, hardback, e-book, and audio.)
  • Suppose your sales ‘earns out’, then you can get royalties – although most of the authors do not see any kind of royalties.
  • Your book belongs to the publisher and when you want this back –it will be tough. Suppose you are not happy with their marketing method– that’s tough. Suppose you want to do indie and have changed the mind– well, you will have to get the rights or write the new book.
  • You will receive an advance too.

Most probably, you will be selling your book to the corporation, and corporation may try to exploit the rights. Definitely, you may expect the editor to be good, and listen to your thought and rest of it. However, you have sold your book, and lost your control. It is not the bad thing, but you have to understand the basic nature of this transaction.

Self publishing

Are you an indie author finding it difficult to break in the publishing world or writer of your second book wants to bypass this traditional publishing procedure altogether, you will find many benefits of publishing your writing.

  • You retain your profit. If you cut down middlemen of the book publisher, you will keep the money that will be spent on the services. Whereas self-publishing service may keep a certain percentage, the amount you get on the book sales will be larger—particularly if you experience success in publishing.
  • You are your boss – Self-publishing gives you all creative control on each aspect of the book—how it is written, marketed, and published. You are an independent author who will look after your project from beginning to end. You may hire help at your expense, like the advertising service or proofreader.
  • Suppose you wish to push the book launch, or release the digital book than the printed book, or want to market the published book as fantasy instead of sci-fi, it is your decision.
  • If you go with self-publishing, you will put out the writing anytime you want. You do not have to follow any kind of rules, limitations, and deadlines of the traditional publishers—and your book can get published whenever you want to.

Make Your Own Choice

You need to decide which is the publishing way for you and it is your personal preferences looking at all the available factors. Do you want the experts to handle all your details, or do you want to have a lot of input into your publishing process?

Do you want to see the book getting stocked at some major retailers, or can you trust your marketing abilities? So, all these are some questions that you need to ask yourself when determining whether to publish your book traditionally or do self-publish.

Both these methods allow an access to the large readerships as well as have potential to be fulfilled for the authors. Irrespective of its publishing route you select, error-free manuscript will be needed to impress the editors & readers of the self-published works.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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