The Benefits of Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing Which Route is Right for You?
If you’re an aspiring author, consider the various publishing routes available to you. With the rise of self-publishing, there’s more choice than ever before. However, before making a decision, it’s important to consider the benefits of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing, and which route is right for you. In this blog post, we’ll look at both options and help you make an informed decision.
What is Traditional Publishing?
Traditional publishing is the route of publishing where an author writes a book and sends it to a publishing company. If the publishing company likes the manuscript, they’ll offer a contract and take over the editing, designing, printing, and marketing of the book. The author then receives an advance, followed by royalties for every book sold.
A publisher is your first point of contact in the traditional publishing model, and a publishing agent is a gatekeeper to your audience. The model starts with you looking for an agent to pitch your book or book proposal to a publishing house and hiring one. You will get a book advance and be signed on by a publisher if luck is on your side. You will receive royalties, which typically range from 7% to 15% of sales, once your book is published and begins to sell. However, the royalty payments do not begin until the book has sold enough copies to earn out, which means that the publisher has recovered the book advance from the royalties on your initial sales.
Benefits of Traditional Publishing
1. It's free
Traditional publishers don’t charge authors because they want your book to succeed and want to make money from future sales of the finished product. It is not legitimate for traditional publishers to demand upfront payments from authors.
On a connected note, a customary distributer might offer a creator a development preceding the beginning of the undertaking. Authors who receive an advance should not be overly excited; advances are not equivalent to gifts or honoraria. Royalties earned must be used to repay these.
When associated with a small, medium, or large publishing house, traditionally published authors frequently enjoy prestige or influence. Authors will also benefit from having advocates on their side. Managers of bookstores are among those who support the author because they typically back a traditionally published author but are wary of a self-published author.
3. Industry Information
Selling books is the business of traditional publishers. As a result, they will be aware of what draws readers to books and keeps them interested. Even though authors may make design suggestions, I felt much more at ease agreeing with my publisher’s preference for my books’ titles and front covers than trying to do either myself and hoping it would work.
4. Hired Expertise
Content is frequently created, published, or posted by writers without readers providing any kind of feedback. A traditional book publisher’s solid contract offer—as well as permission to proceed—recognizes your idea’s “legs,” indicating that it is viable, and you as a writer.
Examples of Successful Traditional Publishing
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series: Harry Potter was dismissed by numerous distributors before being gotten by Bloomsbury. Since then, the series has sold over 500 million copies and been translated into 80 languages, making it a global phenomenon.
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird: J.B. Lippincott published To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960, and it has since sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.
What is Self-Publishing?
Self-publishing, on the other hand, is the route of publishing where an author takes on all the responsibilities of publishing themselves. This includes editing, designing, printing, and marketing the book. The author then receives all profits from book sales.
Using one of the many available self-publishing platforms, authors can publish independently and avoid the traditional gatekeepers. Consider the fact that self-published books now account for 30 to 40 per cent of all ebook unit sales as a measure of how authors have embraced it. Sales of ebooks, the preferred format for independent authors, have been further encouraged by the growth of online bookstores.
Before you publish your book with a publishing service company, have it professionally edited and designed. The majority of businesses deduct their commission from sales rather than charging any upfront fees. Typically, commissions range from 10% to 65%. The remaining funds belong to you, and you begin receiving payments as soon as the first book is sold!
Benefits of Self-Publishing
1. Faster Distribution
Self-publishing can make it possible for authors to see their books published, which is understandable. Self-publishing can shorten the process by months.
2. Potential for More Money
When a book is sold, traditionally published authors are paid royalties, which typically range from 10 to 15 per cent of the book’s list price. On the other hand, authors who self-publish can keep every penny from the sales of their books. So, a self-published author who isn’t afraid to sell his or her work and works hard can make money.
Self-publishing authors will have complete creative control. As a result, there won’t be any disagreements with the publisher regarding the book’s price or the front cover’s design. Making your own decisions can give you a lot of confidence.
4. Longer Timeframe of realistic usability
Authors who have traditionally been published may see their books prominently displayed on the shelf of a bookstore for several months before being abruptly replaced by the latest offering from the publisher. Independently published writers can keep their books noticeable for a lifetime (yet should commit the time and work to advance themselves).
Examples of Successful Self-Publishing
E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey: Fifty Shades of Dark was initially independently published as a digital book before being gotten by a conventional distributor. Over 125 million copies of the book have been sold worldwide since then.
Andy Weir’s The Martian: Before being picked up by a traditional publisher, The Martian was originally published as an e-book by self-publishing. Since then, a successful movie has been made from the book.
Which Route is Right for You?
The choices you make between traditional publishing and self-publishing are ultimately determined by your objectives, preferences, and resources. Consider the following when making your decision:
What are your book’s objectives? Do you want to control the creative process or reach a large audience? Do you want to sell a lot of books to make a lot of money? It can be easier for you to choose the best path if you know what your objectives are.
Because the publisher covers the costs of editing, designing, and printing, traditional publishing typically necessitates little to no upfront investment. On the other hand, self-publishing requires authors to cover these expenses on their own. When making your decision, take into account your resources and budget.
Have you previously collaborated with a conventional publisher? Are you able to manage the publishing process yourself and are you familiar with the process? It can be easier for you to choose the path that is right for you if you know what your experience and skillset are.
How soon do you want people to be able to buy your book? Self-publishing might be your best option if you want to publish your book faster.
Your marketing approach
Book marketing can benefit from traditional publishers’ relationships with online retailers, libraries, and bookstores. However, authors must manage their marketing when self-publishing. When making your decision, take your marketing strategy into account.