You finished a book! Congratulations! Put on your favourite playlist and indulge in your favourite sugary carby vice, because a completed manuscript is a finish line which many people aspire to but never cross. You should be very proud.

But now for the next battle: how do you get people to read it? Maybe you’ve heard people talking about self publishing vs. traditional publishing, which they prefer, and why. But how do you know which one is right for you? Not to worry—we’ll guide you through some of the pros and cons of self publishing and traditional publishing, the steps for how to publish a book, and some of your self publishing vs. traditional publishing FAQs. Ready to take the next step?

Self publishing vs. traditional publishing—what’s the difference?

The difference between self publishing vs. traditional publishing is that with self publishing, you create a body of work and give it directly to the audience; with traditional publishing, you entrust an experienced team to develop your body of work and give it to the audience for you.

When you decide to self publish, you retain complete creative control of your work (more on that below), but you’re also responsible for all the nitty gritties like editing, layout, cover design, printing, distribution, and promotion. This can be a lot for one person to take on, especially if you’ve never done it before. This is why many people prefer the support network of a traditional publisher.

If your book is accepted for traditional publishing, it will be handed over to a team of competent, experienced people with established industry knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work who can make your book the very best it can be.

Both self publishing and traditional publishing can be incredibly rewarding, and there are a few reasons you may choose to go one route or the other. We’ll look at those more below.

Can you self publish and traditional publish?

One question people often ask is if you can self publish and traditionally publish, rather than just choosing one or the other. You can certainly self publish and traditionally publish over the course of your writing career, but not at the same time.

It’s very rare for a traditional publishing company to take on a book that has already been published somewhere else—whether that’s by you or by another publisher. They are looking for new, unique work that nobody else has seen. For this reason, choosing to self publish your novel means that you won’t be able to submit it to a traditional publisher later.

However, self publishing and marketing a book successfully can be a great way to get your name out into the literary world, especially if you write genre fiction. If your first book sells well and gets good reviews, and you develop a fanbase of people who enjoyed your work, these are all valuable things you can present to a traditional publisher for your next project. They’ll be able to see that you’re taking your career seriously, that you’ve put in the time and the work, and that you have an audience in place. In return they’ll give you their professional support and services and help you get your work out to an even wider audience.

On the flip side, some traditionally published authors decide to switch to self publishing later in their career. This might be because they’ve become familiar enough with the publishing industry and their craft that they no longer need the support of a publishing house, or because they want to write something different from what they’ve written before.

Choosing between traditional publishing and self publishing doesn’t mean you’re making a marriage that you’re bound to for life; it just means that you’re making a choice based on what’s right for you, right now.

How much does it cost to publish a book?

The cost of publishing a book can vary a lot depending on whether you choose finding a publisher vs. self publishing and how much you want to invest in the ongoing success of your book. Let’s take a closer look at how much independent publishing vs. traditional publishing will cost.

How much does traditional publishing cost?

Traditional publishers should not charge you anything to publish your book—they are the ones paying you for your hard work. This is one of the most important benefits of traditional publishing.

If a traditional publisher tries to charge you for any of their costs, what you’re looking at is a “vanity publisher,” or an assisted self-publishing service masquerading as a traditional publishing house. These are businesses that try to play off the pride and ambition of the author, who might pay a significant fee to have their book printed.

With traditional publishing, there are only two real costs that you should be encountering:

Promotion

There was a time when publishers were willing to invest thousands of dollars in promoting their writers, but in recent years it’s becoming more and more the author’s responsibility. You may decide to spend some of your earnings on advertisements, giveaways, event spaces, and travelling to encourage sales of your book. Marketing costs can vary greatly, from about $100 a year to $10,000 a year and up. The best traditional publishers will still spend their money on marketing and promoting your book.

Union fees

You’re not required to join a writer’s union, but it might be a good idea to join one like the National Writers Union or the Society of Authors. These organisations charge a yearly membership fee and give you advice, vet publishing contracts, and help settle disputes between you and your publisher. They’re also great for networking and learning from more experienced writers. These costs usually range from $50 to $150 per year.

How much does it cost to self publish a book?

Self publishing a book is a rewarding process, but it can get expensive. Like many things in life, the more you invest in it, the more you’ll get out of it in the end.

In general, most authors spend between $2,000 and $5,000 self publishing their book. Some spend a lot more. At the very least, you’ll need to pay for printing, shipping, and an ISBN—an International Standard Book Number. This is the universal barcode number that identifies your book. On top of that, your optional costs include things like developmental editing, proofreading, formatting, cover design, and promotion. You may also decide to distribute your book digitally through a range of self publishing platforms, and some of these will charge monthly or yearly fees.

If you’re working with a limited budget, you may decide to prioritise certain areas, like spending more on a professional cover design and doing more of your own marketing, or investing in a good editor and then doing all the formatting and layout yourself.

What is traditional book publishing?

Traditional publishing is what most people think of when they dream about getting a book published: it’s when a publishing house accepts your work, gives you money for it, and puts it out into the world for people to read. This is a time-honoured way of building a career as a writer, with distinct advantages as well as some pitfalls. We’ll guide you through the traditional book publishing process, how to get your book traditionally published, and what to expect once your beloved work is in their hands.

What is the traditional book publishing process

We hear a lot of people wondering, how hard is it to get a book published? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. It’s true that traditional publishers function as gatekeepers to literary society, and they offer no shortage of hoops to jump through before you can reach that coveted pearly door. However, in this day and age there are dozens if not hundreds of small independent literary presses making it their mission to give emerging writers a fighting chance. If your work is exemplary enough, typo-free and well-presented, and a unique, engaging story, chances are someone somewhere will take a chance on it. You just need to find them.

Here’s a breakdown of the steps to take in order to get your book traditionally published.

Write a book

Sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people miss this rather essential step. As a new writer, you won’t be able to pitch an idea, an outline, a first chapter, or a really cool book trailer you made on Canva. Without a real, tangible book, nobody’s going to give you the time of day. Write the book.

Make your book as polished as it can be

Now we’re getting to the nitty and the gritty. Once you have your book completed, check it thoroughly for typos, grammar, and clarity as well as big picture issues like characterisation, pacing, and plot structure. Getting feedback on your work from other writers can help with this immensely. You may also consider investing in a professional editor to polish your work to its very best.

As a writer, one of the worst things you can do for your career is send out a body of work before it’s ready. If your submission is sloppy or still in its rough stages, it will make you look bad and it will make you look bad for a long time. Don’t rush this part. Take your time.

Send queries to agents (optional)

Now that your book is the best it can be, it’s time to start putting some feelers out. If you’re aiming for one of the major international publishing houses—often referred to as the “Big Five”—you’ll need an agent negotiating on your behalf. If you think you’d like to send your book to a smaller independent press, many of these accept submissions directly from the writer and you can query them yourself. If this is the path you think you’d like to take, skip ahead to the next step.

If you’re aiming for a Big Five publisher, you’ll need to find someone to represent you. You can do this by searching for literary agents in your area or reaching out to agents who have represented authors that you enjoy reading. Then you’ll reach out to them with your idea and a sample of your completed work in hopes that they’ll think your story is one worth fighting for.

Pitch publishers or wait while your agent pitches publishers

Once you have an agent who’s agreed to represent you, they’ll speak to their contacts in the publishing industry and try to sell them on your work. Your agent might reach out once in a while to clarify something with you, but for the most part you’ll be waiting while they do what they do best. (Pro tip: what are you doing during this rather stressful period of stasis? Starting the next book.)

If you’ve decided to try to sell your book to an independent press instead, you’d contact them based on their specific submission guidelines, usually found on their website. They might ask for a completed work, a proposal, or just a small sample of chapters. Then you’ll sit back and wait while the publishers review your work (and what are you doing now? One more time for the people in the back: starting on the next one).

Secure a book deal and publishing contract

Now comes the exciting part—a publisher has agreed to take on your work. If you’ve gone through an agent, they’ll deal with the publisher and negotiate the best deal for you (the agent is earning a commission off your book sales, so it’s in their best interest for you to make lots of money). If you’ve sent your work to a small press, they’ll contact you directly with their offer. For a large publishing company, this will include an advance against royalties (often between $1,000 and $10,000 for a new writer) and a small percentage of total sales after those royalties have been earned off. Independent presses may or may not pay advances (if they do, they’ll normally be much smaller), but they’ll often offer a higher royalty percentage than larger publishing houses.

Literary agents are experienced in negotiating the best possible contract for your book, but if you’re flying it solo it’s a good idea to get a second opinion. Consider joining a writer’s union like the National Writers Union in the United States or the Society of Authors in the UK. They’ll offer complimentary legal advice and make sure you’re not signing over any unnecessary rights, and they may be able to help you negotiate a better deal with your publisher.

Get the word out

After all that hard work, your book finally exists in a glossy form you can pick up, flip through, and cherish forever. The last step is to make sure people know how awesome it is and all the reasons they should fork over their money. In traditional publishing, book promotion is usually a team effort between the author and the publisher. We’ll talk a bit more about ways to promote your book down below.

What does a book publisher do?

We’ve gone over the basics of what publishing with a traditional publisher looks like, but what exactly does a traditional publisher do between reading your manuscript for the first time and sending printed copies to a local bookstore?

Acquisition

First, they’ll acquire your manuscript if they think it’s a good fit. Big Five publishing companies do this through communication between your agent and an editor for that company; independent publishing companies use “first readers”: people who function a little bit like agents and sort through all of the submitted work to find ones with potential, and then pass those on to the editors. Either way, your work makes its way to an editor and they love it and decide to offer you a contract.

Editing

Then, a team of structural editors, copy editors, and proofreaders will descend on your work like a flock of highly trained, well-meaning vultures and beat it into shape. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already done this editing step on your own; the publishing company’s editors will be looking at it with a new eye for what meshes well with their house style and what they think will appeal most to their readers.

Typesetting and design

This is where they take your word processing document and make it look like a book. They’ll reformat the file into a print-friendly page layout, add metadata that will work on online bookselling platforms like Amazon, and create files that they can use for ebooks and other digital platforms. Once that’s done, they design a thrilling, captivating cover for your book to draw in your potential readers.

Printing

Now the publisher will take those files to a printer and churn out a first run of your precious book. They have to try and guess how many copies they’ll need; too many, and they’ll end up with “dead stock”—books that nobody wants that sit in a warehouse attracting mildew and opportunistic insects. Too few, and they’ll be paying a higher per-book printing cost and lowering their overall profit margin. For a new author, they’ll usually err on the side of lower numbers and print more later if they need to.

Promotion

Before your book even comes out for people to buy, you and your publisher will want to start generating some buzz. This means sending it advance copies for review, engaging on social media, arranging events, and liaising with bookshops and libraries to convince them to feature your book. Large publishing houses are more likely to have a substantial marketing budget than small ones, but how much they invest in promoting your work really comes down to how well they think it’ll sell and how excited they are about it.

All of these steps can take anywhere from several months to several years. Patience is key. (And what are you doing while you wait…?)

What’s the difference between a publisher and an editor?

The difference between a publisher and an editor is that an editor manages authors and their work, while a publisher manages editors… and everything else.

A publisher may refer to the company as a whole, or it may refer to the CEO or founder of the publishing house. The publisher may oversee daily operations, finances, and management.

The editor oversees the editing process as well as liaising with authors, agents, and typesetters.

In a large publishing company, all of these roles will be distinct. In a smaller independent house, a small team of people may take on multiple roles, including that of publisher and editor at the same time.

How much do publishers promote your book?

The amount of time and money that a publisher is willing to invest in your work varies greatly. This is another area where Big Five publishers and independent publishers will deviate—in general, major publishing houses have more money to spend but are more stingy about investing it in new, up-and-coming authors; they would rather put that money towards established writers that they know for sure are going to make a return on their investment. Small indie publishing houses, on the other hand, usually have less money to throw around but are more willing to go to bat for a new writer.

At the very minimum, a publisher should create a press release package for your book, send out copies to major reviewers, and give it a place in ordering catalogues so that bookshops and libraries can stock it. Some might go further and organise launch events, create promotional material like posters, and invest in social media advertising. You can work together with your agent or your publisher to find a marketing plan that works best for your book.

The pros and cons of traditional book publishing

So now you know a little bit more about the world of traditional publishing companies and what they have to offer. Let’s look at the biggest benefits and drawbacks when it comes to choosing traditional publishing vs. self publishing.

Pro: wider distribution

Publishing houses, particularly major ones, have access to avenues you wouldn’t be able to reach on your own. Most bookshops and libraries will only stock work from reputable publishing companies, since they don’t have time to read every book themselves and make sure it meets their quality standards. Traditional publishers can get your book into shops across the country including airports, major department stores, and literary festivals. Choosing a traditional publishing company for your book means that more people will see it.

Con: less creative control

The biggest drawback to traditional publishing is that at the end of the day, they get the final say on what goes to print. This means that if they don’t like the font you painstakingly chose, or one of your character’s names, or the way you chose to end your book, they can ask you to change it. You also don’t get to decide on things like the cover design or how you want to layout your text. Most of the time, publishers work with their authors to try and compromise on things they don’t agree on so that everyone feels like they’re part of a happy, healthy working relationship. In rare cases, however, you might have to make a hard choice between a change you don’t like and withdrawing your book from the publisher.

Pro: professional quality support

Traditional publishing companies, especially larger ones, are run by people who are very good at what they do. Chances are they know things about the industry you don’t and have been navigating it for longer than you have. This is a gift. You will have the support of experienced designers, editors, and marketers that will make your book look as professional and covetable as it can be.

Con: loss of ownership rights

When you self-publish, you retain all legal rights to all of your writing, including any film or audio adaptations that might come out of it. When you traditionally publish, the publishing house will take ownership of at least some of these rights. These will all be outlined in your publishing contract. They might claim things like worldwide distribution rights or distribution rights within a certain country, digital distribution rights (for instance, ebooks and Kindles), potential film and television rights, audio rights, etc. Some of these things may be negotiable, which you can discuss with your agent, a lawyer, or with a writer’s union representative.

Pro: little to no upfront cost for the author

A traditional publisher will never charge you anything to work with them. The only cost you might be responsible for is some of the promotion and marketing after the book has been printed. You don’t have to pay your agent, either—they’ll make a commission on the total royalties from your book.

Self-publishing, on the other hand, can get very expensive very quickly. You need to pay for the printing, distribution costs, reviews, shipping, events, and any other hidden costs that may accrue.

Con: often slower

Traditional publishing is a slow business. Once you’ve secured that coveted book contract, it might be several years before your book hits the shelves. Not only is there a lot going on between acceptance and publication, as we’ve seen, but the publishing company is also managing a full list of authors and prioritising recognised names that will make them the biggest profit. As a new writer, your work will make it to release, but it won’t be at the front of the line. With self-publishing, you can have your book ready and printed in a matter of weeks.

Pro: prestige

Traditional publishing carries some pretty impressive bragging rights among writers. Not only does it give you a sense of external validation for your writing, but it also opens doors that you wouldn’t be able to on your own. Most prestigious literary awards only accept nominations from traditional publishing houses, and most notable literary festivals don’t take on self-published authors. Traditional publishing is still the gold standard of the literary world, and it offers opportunities that you can’t reach any other way.

What is self publishing and how does it work?

Self publishing is undertaking every step of a book’s journey on your own, rather than going through a third party publishing company. It means that you’re acting as the CEO of your very own miniature publishing house of one single person, and that person (you) is everything from writer to editor, graphic designer, typesetter, print coordinator, distributor, and publicist.

Alternatively, you might choose to outsource some of these responsibilities to other people—for instance, hiring someone to edit your book, design your cover, or come up with a marketing plan. These will greatly add to your overall expenses, but they may give you a better product to offer in the end. It’s up to you to balance how much you want to spend and how much you want to be involved with each step.

When you self publish your book, you retain all your rights and complete creative control of your work. It can be immensely liberating and empowering to self publish, but it also comes with its own unique challenges which we’ll look at more below.

Is self publishing worth it?

So if self publishing is such a big investment of time and money, is it worth it to choose self publishing over a traditional publisher?

The truth about self publishing is that it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. Some people do make a living off their successful self-published novels, but these are very rare—and what we as readers and aspiring writers don’t see is that these people are working around the clock behind the scenes in marketing and promoting their books. Hoping for some easy cash is not a good reason to try self publishing your work. It’s also not a shortcut to fame, prestige, or a traditional book deal. While there are no shortcuts in literature (or in life), your best bet at securing a traditional book deal is to approach traditional publishers right from the beginning.

So why self publish? The greatest thing about self publishing your book is that it puts you in the driver’s seat for the entire process. You get to be in full creative control over every word, image, and idea that comes together to create your finished product. It’s also a great way to flex your entrepreneurial muscles.

Self publishing isn’t just about creating one book and then selling it; it’s about creating an entire brand around you and your work. If you thrive on this kind of challenge, then self publishing is a good choice for you. In the end, it’s up to the individual writer to decide whether or not self publishing is the right path. We’ll look at some of the pros and cons to self publishing down below.

Are self-published books successful?

Some self-published books can be very successful. Some writers have made entire careers out of self-published work. There are also a great many that become lost forever in the annals of the Amazon broom closets.

The stigma against self publishing as “second best” is breaking down, and now self publishing can be a viable long-term career choice. But in order to be successful as a self publisher, you need two very important things:

  1. An engaging, well-written story

  2. The ability to hit the ground marketing your book to anyone who will listen, as though you were a contestant on a hybrid of Dragon’s Den and Survivor, cloaking your desperation in a glittering veil of charm and pizazz.

Simple, no?

If you’re considering trying to self publish your book, you need to be prepared to deep dive into promoting and building up hype for your book. If you’re able to market yourself and your work effectively, engage with your audience, and find ways to reach new readers, self publishing can be a lucrative and rewarding career.

How do I promote a self-published book?

Now we know that when it comes to selling your self published book, being on top of your self-promotion is number one. Here are a few ideas for how to spread the word on your new book.

Build a blog or website

In this day and age, having an engaging website is essential. There are free options on build-your-own sites like Weebly and Wix that anyone can use, or, if you don’t have the skills yourself, you can hire a professional to create you a trim, clean website. Your website should reflect who you are and the type of work you do—for instance, a crime novelist’s website would probably look a little different than a romance novelist’s. Your readers should be able to access it easily in order to find out more about you, your book, and what they can expect next.

Engage on social media

Gone are the days when writers could hide away in a garrett and expect their work to sell. Your readers want to know that there’s a real person behind the story, and this means being active on sharing platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can share pictures, videos, questions for your readers (people love being asked for their opinion), news about upcoming projects, or simple musings about your day. Not only does this give depth and complexity to the reader’s perception of who you are as a writer, but it keeps you (and your book) active and present at the front of their minds.

Events

Events are a great way to get up close and personal with your readers. You can organise in-person launches, readings, or Q&A sessions with a local bookshop (always a good idea to encourage shopping independent), or you can offer these things online through your social media or website. The advantage to digital events is that they allow you to reach a wider audience; the advantage to in-person events is that they offer an intimacy between the reader and the author that you can’t find anywhere else. If you’re able to, try to find a balance of both kinds so you can offer your readers different experiences.

Seek out reviews

What do you do when you’re trying to decide if you want to spend your precious wages on a new book? Probably read the reviews. Try to build up a healthy base of reviews on sites like Amazon and Goodreads so that potential readers can get an idea of what to expect from your book. You can do this by sending out advance copies to major reviewers and reaching out to book bloggers, bookstagrammers, and anyone else who shares their reading interests with an audience. A little nudge to your friends and family doesn’t hurt either.

Create a snappy book trailer

As much as readers love your words, we’re all fairly visual people. Creating something that they can watch is a great way to build excitement for your upcoming release. Try putting together images, words, and sounds to create a preview for your book that readers can watch and share with their friends. You can do this in little snippets, posting them over several days or weeks, or in one longer film.

Build buzz with giveaways

Breaking news: people love free stuff. The only thing they love even more is free, exclusive stuff. When you engage with your readers on social media, consider holding a giveaway. This doesn’t have to be expensive; you could create fun memorabilia like stickers or bookmarks, or, if you’re artistically inclined, you could offer a special hand-drawn portrait of your main character. You can also offer exclusive written content like short stories set in your novel’s world or excerpts from an earlier draft. You might decide to offer your giveaway in a prize draw or to the first few to pre-order your book. This is a great way to get people excited about reading your story.

The pros and cons of self publishing

As you can see, self publishing is gaining a lot of respectability in the literary world, but there are pitfalls to be aware of too. Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages to self publishing to keep in mind when making your choice.

Pro: full creative control

The main reason writers choose the path of self-publishing is because they get to retain full control of the choices they make for their work. You get to choose the cover, the layout, the font, and everything that happens within your story world. In traditional publishing, the publisher gets the last word in any disagreements between the author and the editor. Self-publishing is a good choice for anyone who wants to be present for every step of the creative process and who trusts themselves implicitly.

Con: higher upfront cost

Unlike traditional publishing, in which the publishers pay you for the right to distribute your work, self-publishing means you’re the one shelling out your hard-earned cash. You need to pay your printers, your shipping costs, for any prestigious reviews, all of your marketing and promotion, event spaces and travel costs, legal fees, and anything else that comes up as your book is being sent out into the world. This means that you’ll probably only be able to run very limited printings at a time. Most people rarely make enough profit to do more than break even.

Pro: faster process

When you publish your book traditionally, you’re being squeezed into a complex and crowded system of authors at various stages of their career, and you’ll often find that the process of getting your book ready for release is much slower than you would like. It can take anywhere from several months to several years for an accepted manuscript to become a book sitting on a shelf. When you self publish, you get to set your own timeline based on how much time and effort you’re able to put in. Once you’ve finished your manuscript, you can have a completed book ready in a matter of weeks.

Con: lower quality control

Most new authors still have a lot to learn about the publishing industry. When you traditionally publish your book, you get to work with a team of experts experienced in editing, typesetting, and design who will support your work and make it the best it can be. When you’re self publishing, you need to either hire externally (which kicks up your cost even more) or learn to do it yourself. Most new writers opt for the latter, which is cheaper but often won’t give you the best results. Without prior knowledge and training in these specialised areas, you risk sending out a work that looks sloppy and unprofessional.

Pro: higher gross revenue

Although your costs will be higher as a self publisher, you’ll also get to keep more of the money that your book makes. Traditional publishing companies have a lot of people to pay with the money that your book earns. After your advance against royalties, most writers are paid between 5% and 15% of the sale of each book. When you self publish, you’ll get to keep a much, much higher percentage of the price of each book sold.

Con: narrow distribution

As a self published author, the avenues for sending your book out into the world are limited. Most libraries and bookshops will only accept work vetted by traditional publishing companies, and it’s difficult to get into literary festivals and events without the backing of a traditional publisher. Without one, your audience is more or less limited to who you can reach on social media.

When you self publish your work, you don’t sign your rights over to anybody. You retain full control of what gets sent where, what gets adapted into audio or film or alternative media, and where your work gets seen. When you’re working with a traditional publisher, they’ll usually ask you to sign away at least some of your creative rights to your work. That can be a deal-breaker for some writers.

Con: more leg work

Self publishing is hard. It’s a lot of work, a lot of stress, a lot of emailing and liaising with printers and curating your social media and communicating with reviewers and distributing and researching your market and building your author brand. Without the support network provided by a traditional publisher, getting your book into readers’ hands can be overwhelming. If you choose to self publish your book, you need to be ready to throw yourself into the deep end.

Pro: more of a learning experience

On the flip side, getting to work with each step of the publishing process is a fantastic learning experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Learning how to self publish a book from start to finish is a huge challenge that’s immensely empowering. You’ll learn more about design, formatting, and marketing than you ever have before and come out of it with an incredible new skill set that you’ll be able to apply to all sorts of industries and areas of your life.

Con: literary stigma

The truth is, there’s still a stigma in the literary industry against self-published work. This is because a huge amount of poorly written work gets self published every year, and it can be difficult to wade through it and find the one or two gems written by talented writers. If you self publish, you also won’t be eligible for most major literary prizes or inclusion in major festivals, which will make it more difficult to build a following around your work. The barriers within the industry are beginning to change, but there are still obstacles for self-published writers to overcome in order to gain the same respect as their traditionally published peers.

Self publishing vs. traditional publishing: which is right for you?

Now that you know a little bit more about self publishing vs. traditional publishing, how do you know which path you should take? Remember, you don’t have to stick with just one choice for your entire career—you can change teams later, and even change back again, as you learn and grow as a writer. But while you’re getting started, here are some things to keep in mind.

Choose self publishing if:

  1. Being in control of every aspect of your work is important to you

  2. You’re comfortable with social media, and you know how to play the game

  3. You’re a self starter who can keep yourself on track, manage your own deadlines, and set ambitious goals

  4. You love learning new things and developing new skills

  5. You’re a born salesperson

Choose traditional publishing if:

  1. You want the support of editors and designers more experienced than you are

  2. External validation makes you feel more confident in your work

  3. You think you might need help selling yourself to your readers

  4. You want to see your book being sold in high street bookshops

  5. You’d like to be eligible for prestigious literary awards

Self publishing vs. traditional publishing? Both can be paths to success

Once you’ve completed your book (and celebrated for about a week straight), you’ve got a whole new journey ahead of you. As you can see, both traditional publishing and self publishing your work come with their own benefits and challenges, and each one can be liberating and rewarding in its own way. Now it’s time to join the legacy of writers that have gone before you and share your work with the world.