When considering publishing a book, it can be tricky (and exhausting) to wade through all of the options. Should you self publish or pursue a contract with a traditional publisher? As I shared in my article, How to Publish Your Own Book, I have personal experience with traditional publishing as well as the Amazon self publishing platform, called Kindle Direct Publishing.
In this post I’ll weigh some of the pros and cons of choosing Amazon self publishing vs. traditional publishing. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
Before I go any further, don’t miss these free printable checklists on the pros and cons of self publishing versus traditional publishing:
Amazon Self Publishing
Even within the realm of self publishing, there are countless possibilities. One option is to create a free account at Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, upload your own work, and announce it to the world. Voila. For no monetary cost at all, you could be published.
Or, if you’re anything like me and you aren’t super confident about your tech skills, you could hire someone with more experience to take care of the interior formatting, cover design, etc. and get it all set up on Amazon for you.
If this is your route of choice, there is a vast array of companies willing and available to assist, for a fee. Fees can range from $99 for basic services, to well over $3,000 for a more comprehensive package.
If you are considering Amazon self publishing, I highly recommend an e-course from Fistbump Media called 30 Days to SelfPub: How to Take Charge of Your Publishing Goals as a great place to start.
Click here for more details about the course.
Pros and Cons of Amazon Self Publishing
Here are a few of the pros and cons of self publishing. Again, please feel free chip in your thoughts and experiences in the comments at the end of this post.
Pros of self publishing:
– Author maintains control of content, title, and cover design of book
– Author does not give up any “rights” to an outside party
– Author keeps a higher percentage of royalties
Cons of self publishing:
– Author may choose to pay up front costs before earning any royalties (such as hiring professionals to edit manuscript, design cover, format interior layout, market book, etc.)
– All responsibilities fall on author; author has to do all the “donkey work” of getting the book out there
– Author assesses quality and marketability of own work; does not always have prior stamp of approval from a professional team
– Marketing is limited to author’s resources; no large company assisting in this area
– Possible limited access to bookstores
The world of traditional publishing is changing by the day, and I’m certainly no expert. I do know that very few publishing companies will accept work from anyone but a literary agent, and it’s tough to break into this very competitive market.
Pros of Traditional Publishing:
– Most publishing houses add clout to the final product
– Author has a team of professionals to collaborate and make the final product the best it can be
– Little to no upfront costs for author; possibility of an advance in royalties
– Greater access to bookstores and distribution channels
Cons of Traditional Publishing:
– Very difficult to land a contract
– Authors often lose control over content, title, and cover design
– Lower royalties
– Marketing assistance is diminishing over time
That’s a brief summary of what I’ve come up with so far … What’s your opinion?