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Traditional publishing or Self-publishing? That’s the question

There is a doubt inside a writer’s soul. There is always the possibility of not being read or not being able to introduce yourself into the bookstores. But when that insecure voice starts to paralyze your fingers, remember that times has changed and nowadays there are more options out there to publish easier, and increase your chances to make it as a writer.

To get published, you can go down through two paths. There is the traditional publishing method, which is the one we all know: printed books in bookstores. But there is also the digital self-publishing option, which is everything that is now digital and involves E-books, Kindle and Digital Platforms to get your books serialized by chapters. Both of them have their positive and negative points. So, in this article we will compare the good, the bad and ugly... let’s start by analyzing the traditional one.

Traditional publishing

· The feeling of being important.

In order to get your books shipped to bookstores you need to sign a contract with an agent or a publishing house. Your agent has to recognize your work. And once he does, you will have his validation, which generates a level of prestige and professionalism. An author that has published physical books is always considered a little bit ahead. And if you get this feeling, you’ll be more secure.

· Don’t worry, you’ll be distributed.

Once you have an agent, you don’t need to worry about your printing distribution. You can just lay down your “sofa”, because the agent will make it for you. Distribution, marketing and placement is part of his job.

· Literary prizes?

When you publish a book, you are more likely to be recognized also for literary contests and awards. It’s more likely than an author who has a published book can win a literary prize sometime, as there are contests that only evaluate printed books.

· To be professional work with professionals.

You will have a whole professional team to help you with the paperwork, distribution, editing, focus, strategy, cover, and printing.

However, good things also have some “cons”:

· It’s all t o o s l o w.

If you are expecting a fast publication, this isn’t the best solution. The process of getting published traditionally can be very slow. You first need to have your whole book finished and edited, second you need to find an agent that would want to work with you, third you need to do some changes, create a cover, print it, etc. After that, is time for distribution, and last you have to wait until it get sold. And we can be talking about months.

· Your economy depend on the sales.

If your books are not sale as you expect, your earnings wouldn’t fit your expectations. But if they are sale, the royalty rates, which are a percentage of the sale of the book, are also low. They can range between 7% and 25%, according to an article published on The Creative Penn.

· You’ll have to invest some money.

Agents always take a percentage of your work, and some of them take another percentage when you do self-publishing in the meantime, even if you do it alone.

· You marry your publisher.

Once you sign a contract for your book, it belongs to the publisher, and when things doesn’t come out like you expect and you want to change publisher, sometimes can be difficult. So our advice is to check the contract very carefully and know what you are signing.

Self-publishing in digital platforms

The other side of the coin also has very positive aspects:

· Creativity flows all over the way.

When you decide to publish by your own methods, you need creativity more than anything else. You should analyze how and what to write, to whom, how to attract your audience, marketing, how to create your own brand, etc. You’ll require ingenious strategies to place you into the market.

· That freedom of being single.

You will be independent without any bond tying your to a publisher. That freedom provides the opportunity of publishing in different parts at the same time while managing your time.

· The process is faster and effective.

As self publishing involves everything that is digital, it is a faster process… and also easier to distribute without any physical boundaries. If you finish a story today, you can publish it right in that moment, forgetting about all those old-fashioned long and bureaucratic processes. There are even platforms like Inkspired, where you can also publish chapter by chapter, which means that if you haven't finished your book, it is not a problem.

· Publish at different platforms and conquer the world.

There are many online platforms that offer the free publishing service: Medium, Inkspired, Wattpad, Writers Digest, Lulu, Radish, etc. And by using these platforms you can be read in any part of the world. The national frontiers are not longer a barrier, because technology knocks them down. Your potential audience becomes larger, and you can reach people faster than with printed book.

· Earnings become attractive.

You can also publish in platforms like Amazon, in which you can sell your book in a cheap price, and obtain up to 70% in royalties.

· In publisher’s eye.

Once you publish, and according to how well do you market yourself, you can get into publisher’s eyes, because someone can find you, read your stories, like them, and maybe receive a phone call to sign a contract.

But digital publishing also has its negative side:

· It’s all up to you.

You will need the motivation, the contacts, the strategy, the passion, the time, the distribution, everything. You will have to be in charge of all, because it’s your own job.

· The prestige or professionalism isn’t the same.

As we said before, the prestige that a publisher (depends on which) can give you, is a big step for attracting an audience, but in self publishing you don’t have it. You have to create it for yourself.

· The investment comes out from your pocket.

Maybe you will have to invest some money in your own marketing, brand, knowledge, workshops, etc, in order to offer a good story.

So, at the end, each side of the publishing industry has their pros and cons. It’s up to you to choose what’s more convenient for you as an author, and the stage of the book you are currently working on. Snatch the opportunity that can take you to the next level. :)

March 14, 2017, 5:06 p.m. 1 Report Embed 9

Comment something

Eva Kaloudas Eva Kaloudas
How long does it take to start getting paid from Inkspired ????
March 27, 2020, 14:41