What Do I Do? Self-Publish or Traditional Publishing?
This is a big one and a question I am often asked. There are two main routes, traditional publishing or self-publishing.
To go the traditional publishing route, you will generally need an agent. Not always but often, and it is the agent that approaches the publisher. This can be a difficult, and long journey. Publishing is a business and they want books that come with an audience and will sell. I am not a fan of this route. If you have a big following, then it is possible, but for most of us this route is very hard. In traditional publishing your publisher gains control over your rights and content. If you control your rights you control your content. I teach using your book’s content for marketing and selling. I also want you to create other products by re-purposing your content. This isn’t available to you if you give up your rights and go with a traditional publisher. The author retains ownership and control of their rights and content. One of the best decisions Amazon made. The copyright stays with the author.
I am a huge fan and supporter of self-publishing. Self-publishing before had a bad taste to it, but not anymore. If you want to publish a book; you can publish a book. It is being done all over the place with great success. The gatekeepers have fallen. We have Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Smashwords.com, IngramSpark.com and more. No one is going to say no to you publishing your book. It is all up to you. Self-publishing has become easier and easier to do and very often free. For self-publishers the world is opening up.
The writers I know, who have gone the more the traditional route, have found success with smaller, more focused publishers. Publishers who know their market and can work with an author. For me it comes down to control. Who controls the rights and uses to our content? I like being able to use my content anyway that I want.
- No one can say no. If you want to publish your book, you can publish
- Faster to market. I have done books in one weekend
- Control of your content, you keep your copyright, this is super important
- You can re-purpose your content for marketing. Create other products such as workbooks and journals. Make podcasts and videos
- Free to publish or close to it. You pay the costs to edit, design and format your book, free if you do it yourself
- You will have to market your book yourself. But even with most publishers these days you will have to handle the marketing
- Higher royalties, estimate $2.50-$3.50+ vs. $.70 for traditional publishing
- You will need an agent to approach a publisher
- Lots of people can and will say no to publishing your book
- It can take a year to create and release your book
- You loose your copyright and your rights to control your content
- You will not be able to re-purpose your content. The publisher owns your material. This is important in marketing your book. You want to be able to use your content how you want
- Publisher will do the production work for your project. Don’t pay a publisher to publish your book.
- You will most likely still have to handle all the marketing yourself. This can be a challenge because your publisher now controls your content and may not like your ideas.
The Self-Publishing Manual is Now Available on Amazon.com, Please click here to buy the book