The biggest question authors have when I say that I have self-published a book is which is better? Traditional or Self-Publishing?. There is a lot of mis-information out there and self-publishing has lost credibility due to the fact that anyone can do it. However, not everyone can do it successfully—and that is a big difference people should take exception too rather than just dismissing self-publishing all together. There are pros and cons to both.
In traditional publishing, a manuscript is completed by an author who then sends out a query letter or a longer proposal to a publishing agency or literary agent in hopes someone in that company will take interest in them. Writing a query and a proposal is often the Achilles heal for an author. Books are written about it. Workshops are held about it. Yet, still, getting noticed can be an allusive mystery that strikes a personal nerve (when in reality authors are often poor sales people with their pitches stuck in a stack of thousands). If, and that is a big IF, the query or proposal is a “go”, then an editor takes the full manuscript, reads it, and decides ultimately whether it truly is a fit for the publishing house or not. If after discussion and consultation with the author on changes around edits (there always is) and that author proves they can work well with that team, the publishing house will decide to publish the book. They will buy the rights for the book from author with the contractual promise of “royalties” off of sales as well as a possible “advance” payment. Simply put, royalties are percentages from the sales. The publishing house will foot the bill for design and packaging the book and printing book. Unlike days of the old, they would market the book but that has largely turned on its heals and is now placed on the author’s shoulders. Whether you opt for traditional publishing or self-publishing, no author get’s away from dreaded beast of marketing if they want their book to be successful.