Navigating the Publishing Maze: Traditional vs. Self-Publishing and What's Best for Your Book

3 min read


Traditional vs. self-publishing: which is best for your book? Learn about the pros and cons of each, and choose the method that works best for you.



Whether you're an aspiring fiction writer, a blogger looking to write a book, or even just someone who wants to get your message out into the world, you've probably thought about publishing a book. The question is: How do you do it? If you have some money and don't mind taking some time off from your day job to promote your work, traditional publishing might be right for you; if not -- or if the idea of sitting at home all day making copies of your manuscript sounds like torture -- then self-publishing may be better suited for your needs. In this article, we'll explore both types of book publishing and help you decide which option is best for getting your book out there into the world!

Traditional publishing is expensive, but it has the advantage of distribution.

  • Traditional publishing is expensive.
  • The advantage of traditional publishing is that you have a publisher to help with distribution, which can be a huge benefit if your book is likely to sell well.
  • The disadvantage of traditional publishing is that it can take a long time to get your book published, especially if you're not already well-known in the industry or don't have an agent who can speed up the process for you (and it's not uncommon for authors who do have agents and are published by big-name houses--like JK Rowling or James Patterson--to wait years between publishing their first and second novels).

Self-publishing can be a fast way to get your book into print.

Self-publishing can be a fast way to get your book into print. However, if you want to self-publish, it's important that you understand the process and know what to expect.

Self-publishing has its benefits: You have more control over the final product, and there are no delays between when you finish writing and when people can buy your book online or at their local bookstore (or both). But self-publishing also means taking on more responsibility. You'll need to hire editors, designers and marketers yourself--and pay them! In addition, unless they're willing to work for free or at reduced rates (which many will not), they'll charge something called overhead costs which include things like office space rental fees etc., so as an author who is trying not only write but also sell books too - this can add up pretty quickly!

With self-publishing, you have more control over your book's content and design, but you'll also have to do some things yourself.

Self-publishing is an option if you want to be the one who controls all aspects of your book's design and content. You'll also have to handle marketing, editing and distribution yourself--and that can be a lot of work for one person! If you're interested in self-publishing but don't want to do all those things yourself, consider hiring freelancers or finding an author services company that can help with each step along the way (see our Resources section below).

Another thing worth mentioning: Even though it's called "self" publishing because authors control their own books, this doesn't mean they get paid less than traditionally published authors do. In fact, some self-published authors make more money per book than traditionally published ones because they don't have any overhead costs like printing presses or editors on staff at big publishers

Some self-published authors have seen incredible success -- but many more are disillusioned with the process.

But the process of self-publishing can be time-consuming and expensive. Self-publishing companies charge authors a fee to print their books, which can range from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on how many books they want printed. If you're publishing with Amazon KDP or CreateSpace (owned by Amazon), you'll also need to pay for cover design services--which cost anywhere from $300 - $1,500 per cover--and editing services--which generally run around $500 per manuscript page edited.

Some authors have seen incredible success with their self-published titles; others are disillusioned by the process altogether because it wasn't worth all of the money spent on creating their book in order for them not sell enough copies at retail stores like Barnes & Noble or Walmart."

It might be easier than you think to publish a book on your own.

You can do it yourself. You can hire someone to do it for you. You can do it with a friend or family member, or even a professional who specializes in book editing and publishing. Or, if all else fails, there's always the traditional route: working with a publisher (and publisher-specific platforms like Amazon CreateSpace).

The first two options are probably most appealing if you're an independent writer looking for control over every aspect of your book's production process--but don't discount the possibility of working with a professional who knows what they're doing when it comes to making sure that what goes into print is polished and ready for readers!


So, what's the best way to publish your book? The answer is simple: whichever method works best for you. You should try both traditional publishing and self-publishing, then choose the one that allows you to do what matters most -- whether that's control over content or time savings.

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