Traditional Publishing vs Self Publishing

Most people have toyed with the idea of writing a book. If you’ve gone beyond just toying with the idea and ventured out into the cold, hard wilderness of actually writing a book, then you’ve probably at least asked yourself this question: should you self-publish or go with a traditional publisher? The answer depends on what kind of writer you are, what kind of book you are writing, and who you are writing for.

Know Your Book

First of all, what kind of book are you writing? Especially when working with first-time authors, traditional publishers tend to prefer standalone novels, while self-publishing tends to favor series books. That’s not a hard and fast rule, of course, but it does tend to be true. Whether you’re writing a Gaskill novel or a picture book, you will also need to know your strengths.

Know Your Strengths

How are you at taking feedback from a whole team of editors? How do you do with tight deadlines as well as long waits? Traditional publishing is full of challenges like this. On the other hand, if you’re thinking of going the self-publishing route, you’d better be ready to pay for your own editor, cover artist, and marketing.

Know Your Long-Term Goals

How many books do you think you have in you? Are you hoping to become a professional author? Do you want to make a living at this? There are a lot of serious questions to ask yourself, and the answers may effect which publishing path is best for you.

There is no simple answer to the question of self-publishing vs traditional publishing. It depends on a lot of factors, not least of which is the likelihood of change. At the moment, self-publishing and traditional publishing have specific yet relative advantages and disadvantages. As time goes on and the fast-growing self-publishing market continues to evolve, there will likely be more changes.

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