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Traditional vs. Self publishing

We're back with another entry on our quest to answer the most asked questions related to publishing. We've answered the big questions; how to write a book, will writing a book make you rich, and is writing a book worth it. But this question is one we regularly help authors understand. So, what's the difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing? Let's dig in.


When you're sifting through googobs of publishing information on the interwebs, it can be a challenge to find the most basic information. Our hope is to simplify that process for you.


Let's start with perhaps the most familiar model. Traditional publishing refers to the process of submitting a manuscript to a publishing company, which will then edit, design, market, and distribute the book. In traditional publishing, the author typically signs a contract with the publisher, giving the publisher the rights to publish and sell the book in exchange for royalties. An advance may or may not be granted to the author. If so, it will likely vary in amount depending on the audience an author is projected to pull in.


Generally speaking, the process of getting a book published traditionally can be long and difficult. Authors may opt to find a literary agent to represent them, and then the agent must sell the manuscript to a publishing company. Many manuscripts are rejected multiple times before they are accepted for publication. The path from idea to published book can take upwards of 3-5 years.


Self-publishing refers to the process of publishing a book without the involvement of a traditional publishing company. In self-publishing, the author is responsible for editing, designing, marketing, and distributing the book. Self-publishing can be done through a variety of channels, including print-on-demand services, e-book retailers, and online platforms.


One of the main benefits of self-publishing is that it allows authors more control over the creative process and the final product, and it allows them to bring their book to market more quickly. However, self-publishing also requires the author to invest more time and money in the book's production and promotion, and self-published books may or may not have the same distribution and visibility as traditionally-published books.


Trying to decide which route is best for your book? Schedule a Discovery Session, to chat with us.

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