Self-Publishing vs. Traditionally Publishing

Ok, here goes nothin’.

What exactly is self-publishing? What exactly is traditional publishing?

Self-Publishing = The act of publishing your own book. You keep all the rights to it and are the promoter behind it. No one is going to help you. (Unless you network/make friends which I highly suggest that you do.)

Traditional Publishing = The act of publishing under an actual publishing company. They will do a lot of the business work for you (if you’re lucky) so that you don’t have to (editing, formatting, book cover,). Of course, this depends on which publisher you get because each will be different.

Pros of Self-Publishing

1. You own all the rights to your book.
2. You get to make the final verdict on edits and book cover.
3. You get higher royalties! From 30% – 70% of each sale.
4. You could publish in a day! Just click a few buttons and you’re done! (I don’t recommend this.)
5. Be your own boss. The gatekeepers (Literary agents and publishers) are no longer present. (However, you are still left with your potential readers as gate keepers still).
6. This one can be both a con for some but a pro for others. You are now an AUTHORPRENEUR! Author + Entrepreneur (Everyone spells that differently) You get to be the reason your book either is a success or a failure! You’re gonna have to hustle!

Cons of Self-Publishing

1. No one is going to promote your book. It’s all up to you.
2. You have to learn the business side of writing books.
3. You have to handle: beta readers, proofing, editing, book cover, formatting, and self-promotion.
4. Number 3 can get really expensive.
5. You have to write A LOT in order to start seeing a return on investment.

Pros of Self-Publishing

1. You get money upfront! Usually around $5000 – $10,000 for new authors.
2. It will be a possibility to see your book in book stores!
3. The Publisher should do a lot of the editing, formatting, and book cover work for you!
4. They should have a marketing budget for your book.
5. They may sign a contract with you to write more books!

Cons of Traditional Publishing

1. Low royalties. (After literary agent and Publisher you could be left with 8% – 15% of royalties AFTER they make up your $5000 – $10,000 of upfront money they gave you)
2. You usually and most likely will need a literary agent to get your book in front of publishers. This is SUPER SUPER hard and takes A LOT of time and A LOT of rejection. Starting sending out query letters!
3. Now that you have a literary agent they will shop around your book to publishers. This can also take A LONG TIME. You have a large chance of your agent dropping you because your book didn’t pickup any publishers.
4. Now that you have an agent and publisher your book will go into print right away. NOT! The process of printing your book can take up to 1-2 years. My advice, keep writing and forget about it. It will be in print some day.
5. You lose ALL rights to your book for the duration of the contract. Each case differs. However, most likely you will have to argue with the editor about parts of the book he or she wants to get rid of or passages you really liked but he or she wants to zap away. You will also probably not have a say so in your book cover design.

These are the largest pros and cons of self-publishing! I didn’t go into full detail of each because they are pretty self explanatory.

Please watch the video to hear me speak about this subject in more depth. You can also always email me at

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