March 16, 2023

Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing: Which one is for you?

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When it comes to knowledge on book publishing, one of the most important things to know is the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing. 

Self-publishing is when authors take complete control over their work and do the entire process of publishing themselves – from writing, editing, designing, printing, distributing, and even marketing! This path can be challenging as far as knowledge, time, and money are concerned.

On the other hand, traditional publishing offers publishing, distribution, and some marketing services, in return for an agreement. Contracts regarding advance payments, royalties, and further details are usually signed when choosing a traditional publisher. But, while authors may relieve themselves of specific responsibilities when traditionally publishing, it could also mean giving up some of their rights and voice in the process.

Self-publishing guarantees 100% control over the entire publishing procedure, and authors usually retain all copyrights. Self-publishers are free to make their own choices regarding everything from design and format to pricing and distribution. With knowledge and effort, this route can be a great way to take the lead over the entire publishing experience, but you must be ready to build your audience! 

One of the benefits of traditional publishing is that these publishing houses have connections already established with heavy hitters in the industry. Often, they can get your book seen more easily than you can on your own if you do not have these connections. 

On the other hand, some publishing houses have the right to “take your book off the shelf” or don’t market your book to your liking. That means that your book may still be unknown to most audiences even after your contract is signed. 

In the end, your choice of self-publishing or traditional publishing will depend on your knowledge and willingness to put in the time needed for each. Even if a traditionally published company is the route you want to take, you must still obtain a literary agent, craft your query letter, have a lawyer review your contract to make sure you keep the rights you want, and have your financial advisor assess if the deal you’re making is in your best financial interest. 

These days many publishing houses still want to know if you have a built-in audience before they sign you. Gone are the days when they shouldered 100% of the marketing load. 

Researching both types of publishing options can help you make the best decision for your book project. Self-publishing may be the way to go if you have knowledge of the entire process and are willing to put in additional time and effort. Traditional publishing is best if you want help and do not mind giving up certain rights to your work. 

Whichever path you choose, knowledge is critical for success. Do your due diligence to select the best approach for you and your project. 

In the next post, we’ll share another publishing option that we highly recommend and are experts in! That is the option of Hybrid Publishing.

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