Self-publishing is becoming one of the most popular industries for aspiring and even previously published authors to use because of the long process of getting published through a major publishing company. Unfortunately, many authors still feel there is a need to be published through the “big boy” in order to add validity and credibility to their profession, especially if they are looking to catapult their professional careers and gain trust within their industry. Despite the ease of self-publishing over traditional publishing, it is always wise to research the pros and cons of either publishing avenue before putting any material out.
To help you gain a better understanding of which industry is ideal for your publishing needs let’s look at the pros and cons of both industries.
Pros of Self-Publishing
• You retain ownership of your materials. As a writer it is important to retain ownership or rights to the material you write and create.
• You control distribution. You will be able to place your books where you want them, whether it be online only, in print or both, the choice is yours.
• You keep majority of the earnings. When you self-publish you receive all the earnings, sans the production and publishing costs, of your book.
Pros of Traditional Publishing
• Support from industry experts. When you publish traditionally you have the support of a staff of editors, designers and agents who will guide you through the publishing process.
• Larger paydays. Not every book is a best seller but for those books editors believe will yield a profitable return they are willing to write advances on, which allows struggling authors to stay afloat.
• Solid backing. Many authors want to be backed by a traditional company because of the name or reputation to avid readers and the media.
Cons of Self-Publishing
• No support. As a self-published author you have limited to no support such as assistance with marketing and advertising campaigns.
• You own all the costs. While self-publishing is ideal to retain most of the capital it is also costly because you absorb all of the costs associated with printing, marketing and advertising.
Cons of Traditional Publishing
• You may become a number. When you are on the roster for a traditional publishing company you are just a number. It is easy to get lost in the shuffle.
• Your performance could end your career. When you write a book for a traditional publishing company and your book does not perform to their expectations then you could lose your book deal.
• It’s hard to get break into. Getting into a traditional publishing company is hard and editors are constantly flooded with inquiries and manuscripts which may make it harder to get noticed.
Self-publishing is a lucrative field once you understand how to make decisions to grow your business. Traditional publishing is the seemingly safe way to get published but can be hard to navigate through the gatekeepers and hard to maintain if your book is not well received. It doesn’t matter which method you use to get your book published, the goal is to get your book published.