Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

Writing and publishing a book is a dream of many Christian business women.  While getting a contract with a traditional publisher is one way to be a published author, so is self-publishing.  Publishing your own book is a very different experience than getting a book deal with a traditional publisher and not something everyone might want to do.  But the advantages to doing it yourself a growing. I’ve been blessed to be published through a traditional publisher and through self-publishing.  I love both ways, but realize the great advantages of going the self-publishing route.

For one thing, doing it yourself lets you get your book to the market place much quicker than if you go through a  traditional publisher.   It takes up to two years to get a traditional book published (at least in the non-fiction arena).  That means your information can start getting out dated before your book hits the shelves.  With self publishing you control how fast the book gets finished and out to the public.  This can happen in a matter of weeks or months.  This keeps your topic much fresher and your name in front of your target market.

Self-publishing is a great way to keep a lot more of the end profits from the book. Instead of getting around $1 per book sold, you can easily earn as much as $4 to $6 or even more depending on the price of the book.

You control the content that goes into your book.  There is no publisher or editor looking over your shoulders every step of the way. You have no limitations on content and you don’t need to write for marketing. You can just write precisely what it is you want to write.  Of course, the downside is that you don’t get the guidance that comes with a traditional publisher.  You don’t have the eyes of someone who’s experienced in the industry helping you along.

Traditional publishers have a large staff of people on hand, ready to do all kinds of different things to help get your book off the ground. When you self-publish, you have to do all of these things on your own or find freelancers to do it for you.

These tasks include:

* Proofreading your book
* Having graphics designed for your front cover
* Provding photographs for your author bio
* Getting the book edited
* Having your book laid out
*and much more.

The options for getting the book printed include many different print on demand and small print run companies to choose from. You can find many of them through a Google search.

The more books you print at a time, the lower your cost per book and the higher your profit per sale. Though you can sell books on a single-printing basis, you’re usually better off buying a couple hundred at a time.

When you self-publish a book, you have to handle all of the marketing yourself. You are responsible for generating the publicity that brings in the sales. You can generate sales through online advertising, through in-person sales, through reputation or through whatever techniques you want to use to generate buzz.

Most large stores like Barnes & Noble tend not to deal with self-published authors. There are exceptions to this rule, especially if you start to create a ton of demand. By and large, however, you can’t rely on traditional forms of distribution to do your marketing for you.

In summary, you can expect to be in control of the whole publishing process when you go it on your own but it also means you don’t have the same level of professional support.  Consider some of these pros and cons as you get started with the publishing process.  The bottom line is, get started writing your book.  You can get it published and become the author you’ve always wanted to be.