Should You Self-Publish or Should You Go The Traditional Route?

Both traditional publishing and self-publishing have a series of advantages and disadvantages that every writer should analyze before choosing one or the other. In this post, we have fleshed them out.

Traditional Publishing

The author submits his work to a publisher, either directly or using a literary agent, as an intermediary, who will take a percentage of his earnings (typically between 15% and 20%).

Where the author uses a literary agent, the agent’s job will include defending the author’s rights before the publisher and trying to get the best possible conditions for the author.

From the moment of signing the contract with the publisher, the publisher takes charge of the rest of the process. The publishing process involves steps like final correction of the text, book layout, cover designing, printing and so on.

The distribution companies will be in charge of sending copies of the published book to the bookstores. Along with the booksellers, they will take a huge part of the profits acquired from sale of the books. This will amount to about 60% of the final sales between the two.


✓The author does not have to make any investment, at least in money quarters.
✓A publisher’s vote of confidence is an endorsement of the quality of the book.


✓Your book is totally at the mercy of the publisher. Any promotional act you carry out on your own will only bring you a profit of 8-10%.
✓These promotional acts are necessary if you want your book to be known. In spite of any efforts you put into marketing your book, you may earn much less than if you had self-published.
✓Contracts with publishers are generally between 5 to 10 years. If the publisher stops promoting the book or doesn’t reprint, you’re tied up.

PP_Birth Your Book


In this alternative process, the author could self-publish a book. This requires that he contracts all the necessary services for the creation of the book. Self-publishing should not be confused with indie publishing although that’s a post for another day. The self-publishing process sees the author contracting all the essential tasks involved in the publishing process to an agency while retaining the full rights to the book. He also has creative freedom and control over the process.

The commercial firm entrusted with the publishing process would carry out such activities as editing the book, designing a cover, laying the book out, printing and marketing in some cases. The author pays for the process and gets to make key decisions throughout the publishing process.

The self-publishing process is a great way to get your book out there, because it involves the combined effort of the author and the publishing firm. Also, the author is in charge of the process and the outcome of his book would not be a total surprise to him. He will be calling the shots.

Here are the key ways that the author and the publishing firm can work together in a self-publishing arrangement.

✓Direct sale of the book through the Internet by the author himself.
✓Distribution to bookstores which the author has previously contacted.
✓Distribution and marketing by the publishing firm with the involvement of the author.

What are the benefits and the down sides of this publishing option?


✓You will be directly rewarded for all the work you do to promote your book.
✓You own the text and at any time you can modify it, withdraw it from sale, reprint it, and so on. Your choices of what to do with your book are endless.
✓You can choose to sell your book in different formats such as hard copies, print on demand, digital copies, and so on.
✓You do not leave decisions regarding your book in the hands of others.


✓It requires an initial investment.
✓It can be overwhelming to have to talk about your own work.

But that’s why the publishing firm is your partner along the way – to help you do the talking.

If you have confidence in your book, you may want to retain full control over its revenue. This makes self-publishing an attractive process. You can get all the help you need with getting your book out there, and earn the full rewards afterwards. You don’t have to resign to earning royalties alone when your book is making so much more. A self-publishing firm will not share the profits from your book with you, because you will be paying them for their services upfront thereby making it a worthwhile process.

You don’t have to stay stuck trying to go it on your own. You can get all the help that you need. If this process sounds like something that can work for you, contact us to kick-start the self-publishing process today! Prudent Pens is one of the best self-publishing companies that takes the hassle out of the process. We are combining creativity with tech to ensure that our customers get the best. We will ensure that your book gets the exposure that it needs by getting it onto the right platforms. You will enjoy a thrilling author experience and be glad that you took the chance.

You want to self-publish? Start here.

Click here to download our self publish guide. Get our free eBook “Book Writing Essentials.”

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