The PROs and CONs of Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

The PROs and CONs of Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

Want to get your book in the hands of the reader? Self-publishing and traditional publishing are two routes that an author can take.

Back in the day, traditional publishing was the only option available to most writers, but the rise of self-publishing and authors becoming their own boss has warped the landscape of the publishing industry.

But what’s the difference? Which path should an author take? This article will look at the advantages and disadvantages of both to help you make your choice.

So let’s look at the pros and cons of self-publishing vs traditional publishing…

Traditional Publishing

On the traditional publishing path, this involves submitting a manuscript to a publishing house, who then gives it a read and makes a crucial decision on whether it is good enough for them to acquire the rights to publish it.

If by chance, the publisher approves the book and takes it on, they will handle the following:

  • Editing
  • Design
  • Printing
  • Distribution
  • Marketing

The author typically receives an advance on royalties and a percentage of the book's sales.

Pros of Traditional Publishing


Traditional publishers have experienced editors, designers, and marketers who can help make a book the best it can be.

Not to mention, the benefit of their established relationships with booksellers. This is an advantage to getting your book into bookstores as well as libraries.


Being published by a traditional publisher is seen as a mark of legitimacy in the publishing industry.

It can also help an author build their reputation and advance their career.


Traditional publishers have well-established distribution channels that can get a book into bookstores and online retailers around the world.

Cons of Traditional Publishing


It can be difficult to get a traditional publisher to accept a manuscript.

Publishers can receive thousands of hopeful submissions every year…yet only a fraction are published.

Loss of Control:

Once a manuscript is accepted by a traditional publisher, the author gives up some control over the final product.

The publisher has the final say over the editing, design, and marketing of the book.

Slow Process:

Traditional publishing can be a slow process, with the time from manuscript submission to book release often taking 18 months or longer.


Self-publishing involves the author taking on the responsibilities of editing, design, printing, distribution, and marketing themselves using tools like Bookbolt.

The author retains all creative control and receives all profits from the book's sales.

Pros of Self-Publishing


Self-publishing gives the author complete control over the final product.

They can choose their own editor, designer, and marketing strategy, and make changes to the book at any time.


Self-publishing is often a faster process than traditional publishing.

An author can release a book as soon as it's ready, without having to wait for a publisher's timeline.


Self-published authors receive all profits from the book's sales, rather than a percentage of the sales.

This can lead to higher earnings for successful books.

Cons of Self-Publishing


Self-publishing requires the author to take on all aspects of the publishing process, including editing, design, marketing, and distribution.

This can be daunting for authors who don't have experience in these areas.


Without the support of a traditional publisher, self-published books may not be of the same quality as traditionally published books.

Poor editing, design, or marketing can harm the book's chances of success.


Self-publishing requires the author to handle their own marketing, which can be a challenge for those without experience in this area.

Final Thoughts on Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

In conclusion, both self-publishing and traditional publishing have their advantages and disadvantages.

Traditional publishing offers the expertise, prestige, and distribution of an established publisher, but can be difficult to break into and may require authors to give up some control over the final product.

Self-publishing gives authors complete control over the final product, along with the potential for higher profits and faster release times, but requires authors to take on all aspects of the publishing process themselves.

Ultimately, the decision of which route to take depends on the author's goals, priorities, and resources.

For authors who prioritize creative control and speed of release, self-publishing may be the way to go.

For authors who value the expertise and prestige of a traditional publisher, traditional publishing may be a better fit.

Self-publishing also has a world of opportunities related to it, such as creating low-content books. You can read more about this below:

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