You poured your heart and soul into the writing, and I hope you also spent countless hours editing and revising.
Have you finished writing your book?
Where do you go from here?
How do you decide your next step?
You want to or have already written a book and now it’s time to decide between traditional versus self-publishing.
If you still don’t know all the differences between traditional publishing versus self-publishing, you are under high risk of making a wrong decision.
And before you waste a ton of time, we want to give you the information you need to avoid the pitfalls aspiring authors make.
In simple terms, there are two options you can take when you start thinking about publishing a book:
1. Traditional publishing
Traditional Publishing is less of a partnership between the writer and publisher and more of a business contract. In that circumstance, the wise author will take time to get a clear understanding of the rights and benefits of the contract.
In Traditional Publishing, you complete your manuscript and write a proposal, and then submit them to a publishing house (or, if possible, have a literary agent do it for you).
An editor reads it to determine whether it’s right for that house and whether to reject or to publish it. In some cases, an editor who is interested may send a manuscript back for revisions.
If the publishing house decides to publish your book, the house normally buys rights from the writer and pays an advance on future royalties. The house puts up the money to design and package the book, printing as many copies as it thinks will sell; markets and finally distributes the finished book.
Traditional publishers take all the risks.
They pay for everything from editing, proofreading, typesetting, printing, binding, cover art and design, promotion, advertising, warehousing, shipping, billing, and paying author royalties.
If a “publisher” requires any money from you even a minimum number of copies purchased they are not a traditional publisher.
They might refer to themselves as a co-op or a hybrid publisher, and they might even insist that they accept some manuscripts and reject others, but they are not traditional publishers.
Self-publishing is the act of independently publishing your book on a platform like Amazon without the need of a traditional publishing house.
Regardless what services or suppliers you use to have your book printed, this option is rightly referred to as self-publishing.
Why? Because everything is on you. You are the publisher, the financier, the decision-maker.
Everything listed above under Traditional publishing falls to you. You decide who does it, you approve or reject it, and you pay for it.
The term self-publishing is a bit of a misnomer, however, because what you’re paying for is not publishing, but printing.
So, the question becomes, why pay to be printed if you could be paid to be published?
Self-publishing a book is done with these steps:
- Write a book you’re proud of
- Decide which self-publishing platform to use
- Get your book edited, a cover designed, and it formatted
- Upload your manuscript and accompanying assets
- Hit “Publish” when you’re read
- Your book is self-published!
Difference Between Self-Publishing & Traditional Publishing?
Self-publishing is a completely independent route with no barriers to entry whereas traditional publishing involves the acts of querying, landing an agent, and getting approved by a publishing house.
self-published books have a much, much higher royalty rate than traditional publishers because you get to keep anywhere from 50-70% of your book’s profits.
With a traditional publisher, they take much more and you only end up with 10% maybe 12% after years of proving yourself as an author.
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