I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. There are so many options out there these days, it can be tricky to wade through the possibilities.

Here are some of the pros and cons I’ve come up with so far. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Feel free to weigh in!

 

publishing

Self-publishing

Even within the realm of self-publishing, there are dozens of options. You could technically just go on to Amazon, upload your own work for free, and announce it to the world. Voila. For virtually no monetary cost at all, you could be published.

Or, if you’re like me and aren’t super confident about your tech skills, you could hire someone with more experience to take care of the layout, etc. and get it all set up on Amazon for you. If this is your route of choice, there is a vast array of companies willing and available to assist, for a fee. Fees can range from $99 for basic services, to well over $3,000 for a more comprehensive package.

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Here are a few of the pros and cons of self-publishing. Again, please chip in your thoughts and experiences in the comments at the end of this post.

Pros of self-publishing:

– Author maintains control of content, title, and cover design of book

– Author does not give up any “rights” to an outside party

– Author keeps a higher percentage of royalties

Cons of self-publishing:

– Author has to pay up front costs before earning any royalties (such as hiring professionals to edit manuscript, design cover, format layout, market book, etc.)

– All responsibilities fall on author; author has to do all the “donkey work” of getting the book out there

– Author assesses quality and marketability of own work; does not always have prior stamp of approval from a professional team

– Marketing is limited to author’s resources; no large company assisting in this area

– Limited access to bookstores

 

Traditional Publishing

The world of traditional publishing is changing by the day, and I’m certainly no expert. I do know that very few publishing companies will accept work from anyone but a literary agent, and it’s tough to break into this very competitive market.

Pros of Traditional Publishing:

– Most publishing houses add clout to final product

– Team of professionals collaborate to make final product the best it can be

– Little to no upfront costs for author; possibility of an advance

– Greater access to bookstores

 

Cons of Traditional Publishing:

– Very difficult to land a contract

– Authors often lose control over content, title, cover design

– Lower royalties

– Marketing assistance is diminishing over time

 

That’s a brief summary of what I’ve come up with so far … what’s your opinion?

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