Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Which works best for you?

Well there are two choices. Self-Publishing or Traditional Publishing.

Finding the option that fits your needs is about either time or money. Either you spend the time now and save the money later, or you spend the money now and it will save you time later.

Let's take a closer look.


The cost of producing a professional quality book on your own can prove to be quite expensive. It can also be time consuming. Unless you yourself area graphic designer or have some very good contacts, or resources, who perhaps owe you a favor!

A self-published author, will need to pay the editors, formatter, cover designer, proofreader, printer, marketing team and more. The average costcan range from $1,000 to $5,000 USD.

Traditionally published authors don't have to worry about these upfront costs. Instead, their publishing house takes a cut from their royalty checks to pay their publishing team directly.


A self-published author's ability to pick the right team members can be both a asset or a liability.  They'll approve of each aspect of the very work. The process of finding reputable companies and freelancers must be someone whose services they can both trust and be able to afford .


If you decide to pay all of the high-end dollars upfront to a publishing company, you must also be able to replicate the costs of what was invested in the upfront costs later.


There is a false belief that self-published books are of an inherently lower quality than those produced by big-name publishing houses. The truth is that there are a number of indie authors finding both financial and aclaimed success. Because of this, self-published authors must work hard to prove their value to potential readers, while traditionally published authors typically gain such credibility the moment they isign the book deal.


Literary agents help authors advance their careers by providing advice and inspiration. Agents also assist with financial and legal rights, and pushing for large subsidiary contracts.

Without agent support, it can be very difficult for a self-published author to stay on track to landing large contracts, and expand their overall reach into foreign language markets and larger markets and larger streams of income.


While traditionally published authors don't always receive much marketing assistance from their publishing houses (especially as debut authors), the task of marketing a self-published book and making sales will now fall on the authors' shoulders.

In this ever-changing digital book selling market one can quickly discover that it can become expensive for some writers. It can take valuable time that could otherwise be spent doing other things. The self-published authors must view themselves as entrepreneurs rather than simply writers.


An author must now obtain a business license and function as a small business. This may certainly not be the right choice for every writer. A self-published author must also assume the responsibility of producing books (or finding a printer), finding a team to brand format and layout and/or provide marketing, and handling financial matters.

Whew! Just like traditional publishing, self-publishing truly is a task but with the right team and careful planning you can reap the rewards.


While higher royalty rates and complete creative control may seem incredibly appealing, the expense and difficulty of operating as a business can lead many authors to choose traditional publishing over its indie counterpart. How do you know which path to publishing is right for you? Download this 12 Steps to Self-Publishing Checklist to help you determine if Self publishing is right for you.

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