Traditional Publishing vs Self Publishing. Which is better?

If you also want to excel in the world of publication and want to publish your book,then this article is specially for you.Traditional vs self publishing can be a topic of confusion for new writers.

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At present time there are millions of publishers available. Some of the most famous publishers are Penguin Books, Amazon Kindle, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster etc. But before approaching any publisher, you should choose what mode of publication you want.

Self Publishing VS Traditional Publishing

There are two modes of publication available in the market. First is traditional Publishing and the other one is Self Publishing.Here we are going to learn about both of the modes of publication and then conclude traditional vs self publishing.

Traditional Publishing

Meaning of traditional Publishing is publishing your book through traditional Publishing houses.It is a common practice for a long time. Since early times,there was only a single way of publishing, which was traditional Publishing. Traditional publishers are professionals in publishing a book,so they can handle it in a much better way than you do.

author opens package with samples of her new book and checks the hardcover edition carefully

 They have a team of experts for editing , proofreading , designing and marketing the books. It seems to be a more formal and famous way of publishing. But it is more time consuming as well as difficult for new writers.

Becoming a published writer is a prestigious thing. However, for traditional Publishing, you have to approach a literary agent. A literary agent is the person who approaches the publishers for publishing our book. 

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Self Publishing

Self Publishing is the process by which we publish our books ourselves. It is a modern type of publication. Due to Technological advancement , it facilitated the Traditional Publishing vs Self Publishing. Which is better? to publish their books with more features.

It is easier to customize your book in such an attractive way by self – publishing. Self publishing provides you with multiple options for marketing and selling the book. 

Text self publish from wooden blocks, business concept

 Self-publishing is increasing significantly since the last decade. In 2018 alone, there were over 1.68 million print and ebooks were self-published in the U.S., out of which 1.55 million were of print format and 130 thousand were digital. And a lot of writers are making money from selling them.

According to Amazon’s 2019 review of its Kindle sales, there are now thousands of self-published authors. It reveals that they are taking home royalties of over $50,000, while more than a thousand hit six-figure salaries from their book sales last year.

The increasing popularity of self publishing is due to its advantage in royalty, self control and its accessibility.

Traditional Publishing vs Self Publishing

Here we are going to compare certain points about both of the modes of publication. After analysing on various aspects ,you can conclude which mode of publication is better.

Time Consuming

To approach a traditional Publishing house is a more time consuming process. As every famous publisher has hundreds of manuscripts to approve . So it takes a lot of time to approve a single manuscript of your book. 

But in the case of self publishing , it is a less time consuming process . As you decide when you are going to publish your book.

Accessibility ( traditional vs Self Publishing)

It may be difficult for a new writer to contact the traditional publishing houses . As most of the publishers approach only literary agents to get new manuscripts from authors. To get your book published by a traditional Publishing house, you have to approach literary agents with a query letter with a manuscript.

While for self Publishing you have to choose the platform on which you are going to publish. You can also take the help of expert writers and editors yourself.

Royalty( Traditional vs self publishing)

In comparison to Royalty, Self-published writers have a great advantage.

Traditional Publishers give 7-10 % of the price of your book as royalty. However, it may be different for different publishers.

Whereas self-Publishers provide 60-90% of the price of your book as royalty,which is relatively very high. Amazon provides 60% royalty for published books.

Marketing ( Traditional vs self publishing)

Traditional Publishers have their own reputation and fame in the market. They use their own strategy and experience for marketing.

Group of young business people working together in creative office. Multi-ethnic group of creative people on a business meeting in modern office. Overhead view of a group of people sitting on a conference table in board room.

Whereas , when you go for self publishing, you have to manage all of the marketing responsibility yourselves.

Control ( Traditional vs self publishing)

 If you are approaching any traditional publishing house, then there would be certain conditions for publication. You have not any control over design, editing and selling.

Whereas, in self-publishing,you can edit and design yourself. However, you can also hire editors and designers to fulfill your needs.


Traditional Publishing houses have their own reputation in the market. Becoming a published writer through any of the famous publishers seems more prestigious.

Whereas, when you go for self publishing, there are high chances that you’ll get less prestige. Although, it also depends upon the success of your book.


For distribution purposes,it is much easier in traditional Publishing as compared to self Publishing. Your book may be easily available even at a local book store.So it will be easily in the reach of readers.

While for self publishing, you can only avail them on online book stores etc. 


Self Publishing and traditional Publishing both are popular ways to get your book published. However, both of them have their pros and cons . So, it would not be justiciable to declare one of them as better in comparison to the other.

As one of the points listed here may be a serious issue for one person,while not for another one. You can prioritise your goals that you want to see in your publisher. 

I hope this article helped you to do a complete analysis about self Publishing and traditional Publishing.

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