Self-publishing verses traditional publishing

Will I be more successful if I self-publish or traditionally publish my book? This is what an author may ask her or himself before publishing their first book. A seasoned author may ask: should I change from one to the other? There are a lot of questions to consider for the writer when it comes to choosing how he or she wants to publish. Which is more reliable in the long run? Which will benefit the author more, as it concerns readership and sells? Are there as many differences between the two? Based on research I’ve conducted, I’ll try to provide answers to these questions below.

With technology progressing, the access to eBooks is increasing at a high rate. Understanding human behavior is very important for authors who want to connect with readers. One of the first things people consider before purchasing books today is convenience (avoiding traffic and crowds). Thanks to the ever-growing cyber-world, readers only have to click on that book he or she finds interesting, and read on their kindle, nook, etc…

Publishing traditionally will promise an author an editor, and that their book(s) will be stocked on shelves in a bookstores. Another advantage, is if an author desires or needs global translation of their book, then using a traditional publisher may be the most suitable option. Marketing a book requires an ample amount of time and effort. One has to find the right target audience to create a network(readership) then do it again. A literary agent relieves an author of a lot of this work. In doing so, an agent will help with marketing the author and her or his book.

On the other hand, self-publishing allows an author more freedom: the author will own all his or her rights to their book and collect all of their royalties. These are, I believe, the two biggest differences that influence a writer’s decision. As I mentioned above, readers today want something that is easy to access, and thanks to the internet, eBooks allow just that. Finally, the cost of a book usually comes to mine as a person browses their favorite category, bringing me to another advantage for the self-publisher, as she or he normally price their book lower than traditional published books.

So, there you have it. It really comes down to what the author wants. Traditional publishing is not going away, not anytime soon. The opportunities to publish and read online, however, is only growing. Personally, I prefer to self-publish, so I can own all of the rights to my work and collect all of my royalties. However, I’m not completely ruling traditional publishing out. If a publisher finds my work interesting, my body would tingle all over with excitement. I would consider negotiating. From doing extensive research about literary agents and contracts, veteran agents themselves warn not sign a contract with an agent who wants to take more than 10-15% of the royalties. Something is definitely off there. This post was to inform writers and anyone about the information I’ve come upon while researching the comparison between self-publishing and traditional publishing this far. I hope I could help! Please post any responses below, including questions.

Below I provided two links that briefly discuss self-publishing verses traditional publishing. One is a video from the “StartupLIVE” authors panel and the second is an article that includes successful author, Hugh Howie and his take on publishing.

Vincent Cummings 07/05/2013

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