You run a considerable risk of choosing the wrong publishing path if you are unaware of the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. We aim to provide you with the knowledge you need to prevent the mistakes aspiring authors make before you lose a lot of time. Even without the uncertainty over which route to take, writing and successfully publishing a book is a daunting task. Now that you either want to write a book or have already done so, you need to choose between self-publishing and traditional publishing. 

Additionally, more authors are leaning toward self-publishing these days. But why? Because self-publishing grants them the independence, they have always desired. But isn’t self-publishing somewhat challenging? The truth is that while publishing was formerly a difficult undertaking, it has now become much simpler, all thanks to self-publishing and professional book publishing services. The team of experienced publishers at book publishing services have years of experience, is well-versed in the publishing industry, and can publish your book in a way that helps it stand out from the competition.

So let’s get right to it without wasting any time. To assist you in deciding which publishing route is ideal for your book, we have listed some advantages and disadvantages of both traditional publishing and self-publishing. So, let’s start:


By crossing the traditional publishing gatekeepers, authors can publish independently utilizing any or all of the many self-publishing platforms available. Knowing that self-published books now make up 50% to 60% of all eBook sales gives you an idea of how well authors have embraced it. 

However, if you have considered using book publishing services to publish your book, have it properly edited and designed. The majority of these services only charge a one-time fee and don’t deduct a commission from sales. So, you keep all of the money from your book sales, and you start getting paid as soon as your first book sells.

Advantages Of Self-Publishing

  • You can make your book available to your audience anytime with self-publishing. Even books that are written by first-time authors, which traditional publishers mostly ignore. The most interesting part here is that your book is available in online stores within some days or a week after you publish it.
  • The power to be creative belongs to the authors. You can work with expert editors and book designers who can help you produce content that is consistent with your vision for the book.
  • If something isn’t functioning, changing it is simpler. Textual and design modifications may be made even after the book has been published because books are not printed and stored in advance. For example, if the design of your book cover is outdated or unattractive, you can change it instantly.
  • The shelf life of books increases with self-publishing. Books that have been traditionally published have a short shelf life in the bookstore and are occasionally taken out to make room for books that have just been released. On the other hand, self-published books are always accessible in online bookstores and can even be found and acquired months or years after the book is originally published.

Disadvantages Of Self-Publishing

  • You will be responsible for promoting your book. Be prepared to dedicate time to tasks like setting up and maintaining a blog, developing a mailing list, requesting reviews, promoting your book using social media, writing articles for websites that can keep driving traffic to your page, and publishing your book across multiple platforms to maximize its exposure, and so on. However, if you leave it to the professionals and hire book publishing services to handle all of this on your behalf, you can make this disadvantage an advantage for you.
  • You won’t have as much time to write because of all the time spent searching for and evaluating professional service providers, promoting your book, and gauging the success of your publishing and marketing choices. Expect to put in more time and effort than a professional self-publishing author would on these responsibilities if you are a newbie.

Traditional Publishing

A publisher acts as your audience’s gatekeeper according to the traditional publishing paradigm, and a publishing agent should be your initial point of contact. First, you search and hire an agent to present your book proposal to a publishing house. If your chances are good, a publisher will sign you and give you an advance on your book. You will receive royalties after your book is released and begins to sell. They are usually in the 7% to 15% range of sales. However, royalties are only paid out once the book has generated enough revenue to cover its costs or when the publisher has recouped the cost of the book advance through royalties on your early sales.

Advantages Of Traditional Publishing

  • It boosts reputation. Getting accepted by a book publisher still counts as validation for many authors. You must have produced a decent book if you want a publisher to believe in it and invest in it.
  • Lower-than-expected sales won’t result in any financial loss for you because the publisher is responsible for covering all publication costs. Therefore, you are not required to pay back any of the book advances, even if your book does not generate revenue.
  • The publisher takes care of everything. The publisher also offers services like editing and proofreading to make your manuscript flawless. Moreover, they make your book available in bookshops, libraries, and other institutions because of their wide distribution channels. They also handle printing, warehousing, and distribution. Additionally, they would plan book signing events and coordinate editorial reviews. For authors, having someone else handle all of this is a massive relief because it frees them more time for writing.
  • Physical bookstores are likelier to stock your book because major publishers have a strong distribution network and provide a book return option. This would increase the likelihood that it would be found and bought.

Disadvantages Of Traditional Publishing

  • Before landing a book deal, new authors, in general, are likely to experience numerous rejections. Even after a contract is signed, the book wouldn’t be published and accessible in bookstores for another year or two.
  • Authors have little artistic freedom. However, the creative elements of your book, such as its title, cover art, and editing process, would not be entirely in your hands.
  • Traditional publishing offers lower royalty payments than self-publishing.
  • Contracts with publishers are complex legal documents. They are not only difficult but frequently contain words that benefit the publisher. To make sure that you have the most rights to the book, you should carefully review the clauses with your attorney.

Final Thoughts

Traditional publishing is for you if you do not enjoy promoting your book or paying for professional book publishing services. But be ready to wait until the publishing procedure takes place and spend some time looking for a publisher. However, your book won’t take long to reach the market if you self-publish. Additionally, it will provide you greater flexibility and creative freedom while helping you avoid the headaches and limitations of a contract. Self-published writers may not have the ecosystem of support that a regular publisher does, but you can engage professional book publishing services to get all the help you expect from a traditional publisher.

Read more: What is Technology Management and Why is it Important?

By Veena

She has 7 years of experience writing about technology, education and business. Her experience in the tech industry (Fieldengineer, wowtechub, Tech360d, Techinfobeez) has taught her how to write engaging, informative content that makes complex issues accessible to a wide audience. Follow her on LinkedIn

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