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Traditional Publishing Or Self Publishing – Making an Educated Choice

What are the differences between traditional publishing and self-publishing? There are many! It is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of each option. An author must reflect on the pros and cons of each method before they can make the final decision about publishing their work. Learn here about both the processes and decide what option best suits your needs. 

Traditional publishing involves a long process of courtship between the author, agent, or publisher. The manuscript is first written by the author. The author then attempts to find an agent, which can be a daunting task. The author, once represented, writes a query and/or a proposal to the agent.

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The author's work is then accepted or rejected by the publishing house. The publishing house will buy the rights from the author and pay an advance on the royalties if the latter is accepted. The publishing house determines when the book will be published, edits it meticulously, chooses the cover design, and prints the expected number of copies.

The publisher can promote the book or not once the book has been distributed. The percentage of royalty earned by the author is determined by the total sales. Surprised authors often discover that the author must promote the book at their expense once it is published. 

Self-publishing is often viewed as the stepchild of the literary community. Self-publishing is often stigmatized in certain circles. However, self-publishing for many budding authors is their saving grace. The average reader can't tell the difference between a traditionally published book and a self-published book once it is in print.

Self-publishing allows the author to be their own publisher. Authors must not only create the book, but also cover design, editing, printing, distribution, and advertising. They should be able to market, fulfill orders, and manage their own public relations campaigns.

If an aggressive promoter is able to sell their book to the top seller list, they will own their work. The good news is that authors can have their book within 6 months of a manuscript being completed. Traditional publishing takes over a year.