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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Self Publishing vs. Traditional

Let's face it, the publishing world is changing! For the last few years I have been educating myself on how I would publish a book. I have an eBook floating out in the great Amazon jungle inspired by my food blog Eat Yourself Healthy and Happy. The book was self-published and it was a lot of fun. I did not make millions, I made spending money. However, that was almost three years ago. I published a book without doing much research and left it at that--the end. Since then that nagging impulse to write and publish my ideas and stories will not leave . My eBook was a non-fiction book, but my brain is full of wonderful (I think at least) fictional stories that have to be written down so I have enough room to remember my car pooling duties! So for the last three years I have studied, I have learned and found I am much more educated on the different publishing venues available to writers.

Traditional: We'll start with the traditional folks. The get-an-agent-submit-my-work-and-wait people.


  • Excellent connections
  • You get into brick and mortar stores and create a fan base
  • Professional editing and cover at the expense of the publisher
  • They can bring your name places you may not be able to go on your own.
  • Advances* (I have more to say on these)
  • It says something about your story if you make it past all the gatekeepers of traditional publishing and land a my opinion. 
  • Waiting. It can take YEARS to get an agent and then YEARS to be accepted by a publisher
  • In all honesty there is a slim chance your book will be read and reviewed, let alone accepted. Don't give up if that's your dream, just don't expect acceptance on your first go around. (J.K. Rowling was rejected at least 12 times before Harry Potter was picked up)
  • Slim royalties (most publishers give their author's 10-20% of sales)--my issue with this is...the author wrote the dang book!
  • Publishers will market to the distributors, they don't tend to market to the needs of the readers.
  • You don't have control of your book, (depending on your contract)

Self-Publishing: In other words Indie publishing. There is a lot to be said about the new digital age, it is not shameful, and it doesn't mean your book is awful if you self-publish.

  • Control and rights to your book
  • Opportunity to make a full-time income if you publish multiple books and series(research the funnel system)
  • You can publish in a day if you wish, no waiting.
  • eBooks are a GIGANTIC market in today's world.
  • You are in charge of your own promotions and can gauge what your readers want and change your marketing as desired.
  • You receive 65-70% royalties on most sites
  • You have to market everything yourself
  • You must keep publishing if you wish to earn an income (unless you are E.L. James and hit the lottery with 50 shades) Even Amanda Hocking wrote several books and series to make her income.
  • You have to pay for your editing and cover design. This can be positive since you are dishing out the money you can have all the say on how it is done.
  • You do your own formatting (unless you hire out, it just takes more $$)
  • You have to view self-publishing in a business sense. I actually do not view this as a con, although some do. I have found it an exciting world to look at the possibilities of creating a writing business! 
There are success stories in every type of publishing. In my research both require professionalism, solid editing, great cover and formatting, and a lot of persistence and love of your book.

What are your thoughts on the publishing world? What direction would you take?

Some great resources for writing
How to Write a Novel By: Nathan Bransford (for traditional or self-pub)
Write. Publish. Repeat By: Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt (focuses on Indie)

Happy Writing.

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