Probably one of the most heated debates in the literary world. Which one is better? If you ask the writing community across social media, you will find many strong opinions about both. In this article, I will try and give an objective list of the pros and cons to help you decide for yourself.
- The backing of a company
- Cover design, formatting, finding an editor all taken care of
- Initial marketing push
- Implied Prestige and legitimacy
- More/easier access to brick and mortar stores
- Advances and multiple book contracts
- Less control over your work
- Low royalty rates
- Long process
- Contractual obligations
- Complete creative control
- Produce and publish on your own schedule
- The possibility of higher royalty rates
- Flexibility in content (niche markets)
- Covering production and marketing costs
- Imposter syndrome
- Harder to get into brick and mortar stores
- No advances
Not all authors choose between the two. A lot of traditionally published authors self publish works for niche markets not represented well by traditional publishing. On the other side of it, many self-published authors still send out queries and pursue agents to traditionally publish their work at some point. The writing world doesn’t have to be one or the other.
It all comes down to what makes sense for you and your work.