A Comparison Between Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing

A Comparison Between Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing

Authors nowadays have many options on how to publish their work. The two main options though are self-publishing which is defined as the publishing of a book at one’s own expense and traditional publishing which is defined as the publishing of a book with the help of an established publishing company. The two types of publishing each have their own characteristic that are advantageous to the author. In this article we look at the subtle differences of the two and see how they could help the author achieve his dream of publishing his book.

The process of the two types of publishing are different.

Traditional Publishing Model

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In Traditional publishing, the author completes his or her manuscript, then writes a query letter or a proposal, and submits these documents to a publishing house (or has a literary agent do this for them, if one can be acquired). An editor reads it, considers whether it is right for the house, and decides either to reject it (leaving the author free to offer it to another publisher) or to publish it. Once the publishing house decides to print the book, the house gets the rights from the writer and pays him or her an advance on future royalties. After this the publishing house has the authority on how they wish to market the book and when to print it.

Whereas in Self-publishing the process is very different.

Self-Publishing Model

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In Self-publishing an author who decides to self-publish basically assumes all the tasks of a publisher. The author has sole responsibility to proofread the final text and provide the necessary funds to have the book published. The author is responsible for creating marketing services and distributing the book, filling orders and creating publishing packages to entice readers to buy the book.

The main differences between the two publishing types are very evident. One such difference is the time it takes to have the book printed. In the case of traditional publishing it can take a long time for a manuscript to become a book. This is because there are so many factors that may delay the books publishing. One such factor is that there are a large number of manuscripts that are also waiting to be published. And because of this the manuscript cannot be given full priority. In the case of Self-publishing the author has sole command of his or her manuscript. In self-publishing the author can have his or her manuscript printed at any time. Another important aspect of both publishing types is the issue of money. When it comes to traditional publishing there is already a pre-set budget set aside by the publishing house to effectively publish and market the book. And seeing as the publishing house has a reputation to up-hold it is not farfetched to say that the budget can be uncommonly large. Whereas in the case of self-publishing, wherein the author takes sole responsibility for having the manuscript published, the author then has to shoulder all the expenses whether it is printing fees to marketing plans. All the funds will have to come directly from the author.

Self-Publishing Creative Control

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Lastly there is the topic of creative control, in the case of traditional publishing the author is given little to no creative freedom when it comes to his or her book. This is because the publishers always have a say in how the book will be printed and marketed. Whereas in the case of self-publishing, the author is given greater freedom in how to publish and market the book.

All in all both types of publishing has their own merits. On the part of traditional publishing the author is spared the stress of having to publish and market the book and he or she is still entitled to royalties from the book. In the case of self-publishing the author is given complete creative control of the book but also has to shoulder the cost of having the book printed and marketed. In many ways the decision is all up to the author and how he or she wants it to be done.

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