Self Publishing VS Traditional Publishing

Well, now it has become a very long-prevailing argument among the experts of the literary field that which form of publishing is better! Is it the Self Publishing or the conventional method of Traditional Publishing? However, before finding out the answer to this subject of debate, we actually need to understand all the fundamental differences between these two forms of publishing.

Also, let me make this very clear right from the beginning that in this article I won’t be favouring any particular form of publishing. My job here would be to give you the glimpse of the advantages and disadvantages of both the kinds of publishing and then leave it up to you to decide, which one is better according to you and your needs!

The modern day big question for the Writers and Authors is to choose between the options of Self Publishing and Traditional Publishing and believe me this particular task is a very big deal for the budding authors these days! You’ll be surprised to know that these days, the budding authors spends months and months just in making up their mind and finalizing the kind of publishing with which they feel comfortable in going forward. To be honest, I find it to be good sign, as the Authors are gaining awareness of the working mechanisms applied in the publishing sector by exploring out the options, which are available for them and then going ahead with the one with which they’re most satisfied.

So, let’s understand the basic concepts of Self Publishing as well as Traditional Publishing, along with looking upon the Pros & Cons of both the kinds of Publishing.


Self Publishing occurs when an Author handles the entire Book Publication process, including printing, distribution and marketing. Author execution of all details during the self-publishing process is commonly called Independent Publishing. The Author either has the skill set to carry out the Book Publishing steps such as Book Formatting/Indexing, Cover Designing and other such requirements of the Book or Employs Professionals to complete the process for them.

Pros of Self Publishing:

  • Authors’ enjoys the complete control over the Manuscript.
  • Authors’ have the full Creative Liberty.
  • Easy acceptance of the Manuscript.
  • Authors have their say in setting Book’s Price.
  • Royalty Rate is Immensely High, i.e. 30% to 70% at times.

Cons of Self Publishing:

  • Authors pay for every step involved in the Publishing Process.
  • Authors have to carry out the Sales, Marketing & Advertising of their Books.
  • Authors are responsible to get their books placed in the Book Stores.
  • Market Saturation effects the Self-Published Authors the most.
  • Achieving high sales is much strenuous.

Traditional Publishing occurs when the Authors completes the Manuscript, Writes a Query Letter or a Proposal and Submits these Documents to a Publishing House individually or has a Literary Agent to forward these documents on their behalf. If the Publishing House decides to publish the Book, they buys the rights from the Writer and Pays him or her an Advance on Future Royalties. The house puts up the money to Design and Package the book, Prints as many copies of the Book as they think will sell, Markets the book and finally Distributes the finished book to the Readers.

Pros of Traditional Publishing:

  • Distribution System is immensely large.
  • Books get perfect Exposure and Advertisement.
  • Marketing of the Book gets care of quite easily.
  • Authors receives advanced payment.
  • Achieving high sales is much guaranteed.

Cons of Traditional Publishing:

  • Too costly, as Authors have to pay the Literary Agents.
  • Manuscript may get rejected or altered as well.
  • Authors do not have much Creative Control.
  • Publishing Procedure is too long and complex.
  • Royalty Rate is unduly low, i.e. 7% to 15%.

It’s really necessary to analyze the Merits and Demerits of Self as well as Traditional Publishing in order to choose that publishing option, which benefits you the most in getting your book published and yielding you better results. These pro and cons of both the kinds of publishing are just to create a sense of awareness among the budding authors, who are taking a step closer to make their dream come true by publishing their books!

“Completing the Manuscript is just half the task in the process to shape up a Book; it’s all about choosing the Right kind of Publishing according to your comfort & requirements, which ensures the dream of a Book to come true as reality!”– NEEL PREET

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