Traditional vs self-publishing: How should you publish your book?

It’s a big question that doesn’t have a clear answer: How should you publish your book? Whether you choose traditional or self-publishing, there are going to be pros and cons to either option. So, instead of trying to tell you how to live your life, here are some insights you need to consider. 

What is self-publishing? If the author owns the rights and royalties, then the book is self-published. To self-publish is to do it all completely on your own, that includes: editing, proofreading, formatting, cover design, book marketing and printing or web-publishing.

That sounds like a lot of work? We know. And it is. But there are a lot of pros to why you’d want to choose this route. 

The Pros of self-publishing: 

  1. Maximum creative control-  It’s the biggest reason for a lot of Authors, when you self-publish, you decide. There is no one trying to curve your decisions, who you’re trying to reach or the integrity of how your ideas are presented. To do this alone means you get to do it right by you. 
  2. Immediate Results- When you self-publish you get to be at the cock-pit of your release and witness every step. Once you finish the hardest part of writing your book (or the easiest part- when using the best ghostwriting services)  there’s not a moment lost in seeing it reach the market place. When you self-publish you can have your ebook ready to go in less than a week. It takes hours to upload onto digital platforms, and with print on demand services available, theoretically, you could have your book in 24hours. There’s no longing for someone’s approval, or waiting for results of sales.. 
  3. More money- We’re not beating around the bush here. You get more money. Traditionally, publishers take roughly 70 percent of profits from sales (generally more). When you self-publish, you take that figure home. Contracts decide the royalties, and when you’re creating them, when you’re choosing where your book goes, the coins tend to fall in your favor. 
  4. Getting your name out there- Not everyone gets on the bestseller list automatically, unless you're a celebrity or famous CEO, you need to give people a chance to get to know you. By self-publishing and marketing yourself, you create the person (or persona). You get to make a name for yourself and give your audience a taste of your work. 

Self-publishing can be a lot of homework and there are some downsides you need to weigh into your decision. 

The cons of self-publishing: 

  1. It’s hard to be ‘seen’- When self-publishing you need to ensure your product is built with a sense of professionalism, that you’ve marketed it, that it’s accessible. Otherwise your book can get lost in the web.
  2. It is harder to get into ‘shops’- To see a hardcopy of your book in a shop window right off the bat is a long shot.  Bookstores often have exclusive deals with print publishers and control what gets distributed. 
  3. Higher costs- Self-publishing also means self-financing. When publishing traditionally they take their cut, but that’s also because they offer a lot of service you’ll be out-sourcing or doing yourself. But at the end of the day, who do you want to make the final decisions on your book? It’s something only you can decide. 

 With all of that out of the way, you should know that there are great services out there. Hearing all the ‘self’ talk sounds daunting but there are affordable ghostwriting services and editing services. So don’t be disheartened. When you self-publish you choose the professionals you work with, and if romance ghostwriting is specifically what you’re looking for, well, we’ve got your back. 

If you’re still unsure and want some more information, let’s take a look at traditional routes. 

The traditional publishing game is tight and generally only high-ball names get a sweet cut of the pie. Look, if you’ve got a $500 000 book advance waiting for you, then why are you here? Take it! But if you don’t, there can be a lot of hoops you have to jump through just to get your work looked at, let alone published. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but it is something to consider. 

Why publishing traditionally is so appealing: 

  1. Advances of high values (no up-front costs)- Traditional publishing houses can afford to pay you to write. With self-publishing you need to pay and write, at first, at least. 
  2. Investment into the book- support systems and extra eyes, this does ensure a level of professionalism which is vital in how a book is received. But, keep in mind that on average it takes 2+ years within the traditional process from final draft to print. 
  3. Traditional media coverage (most likely)- It has the highest chance of print distribution in bookstores, they have deals with news outlets, T.V shows and can create a lot of buzz. But so can a YouTube ad. (Just saying). 

Final Thoughts: 

When you self-publish you have more chance of actually getting your work out into the world, although it can be tough, you have more creative control on what your book will be. When you publish traditionally, it can be helpful but some deals are hard to get and rejection/negotiations can be tiresome. 

We hope that cleared things up for you and if you'd like any more advice please reach out to us here.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published