When I published my first book, A River Moves Forward,
I felt like a stranger walking on foreign land. I’d been given a passport to enter, but I didn’t understand the language or the culture of the publishing industry. I assumed that publishing a book on my own would be easy, but soon I realized if I wanted to be successful I had to understand that publishing was a real business. While I am no expert, my experience has taught me many things. I’ve been able to use what I know to help others. The common questions I receive from aspiring writers are; what is the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing? Which option is best for me? I thought I would share some information with you just in case you’re thinking about publishing your book.
There are two ways to publish your book. With self-publishing, you'll be your own boss. You call all the shots. You decide on your book cover, marketing, and you set your own deadlines. You also keep all the profits. The flip side is, everything will cost you money unless you do most of the work yourself. Finding ways to eliminate the middleman will save you money. With traditional publishing, you’ll likely receive a lump sum advance from the publisher. You will have a broader distribution for your books, a team of designers, a marketing division, and an editor will be assigned to you. There’s also less legwork involved and out-of-pocket expenses. However, the publisher is the boss in this case, and they will determine your deadlines and decide what’s best for your book. You will also split a percentage of the profit from your books between the publisher and your agent. Therefore, it may be wise not to splurge your entire advance.
Is it worth it to publish your book? Surely, deciding which road to take to publish isn’t easy. When I was asked during a radio interview if publishing my own books was worth it, I answered with a resounding "YES!" Why? I fulfilled one of my dream goals! It didn't matter if I published my book on my own or the traditional way. Whatever you decide, I hope you will achieve your goals too. At the end of the day, what matters is your own happiness.