Writing Tip #11:
Two high-level considerations about traditional publishing vs. self-publishing
This article provides two initial decisions you must make to decide the best way to introduce your book into the market.
First, know your manuscript and research possible publishers. Be clear what kinds of material potential publishers print. Does your story fit? Will you need an agent? (Some publishers will not consider your manuscript without one.) They also require you to follow very specific guidelines when submitting manuscripts and otherwise dealing with them.
Luckily, you can find out everything you need to know about the writing marketplace — not only for traditional and other publishers, but for magazine articles, greeting card companies, and more — in the Writer’s Market publications available online, at libraries and in book stores.
If you do decide to pursue an agent and traditional publishing, check out individual agents, their histories, success rates and more at Agent Query. Writer’s Market provides a guide specific to literary agents, as well.
Second, armed with the above information, decide if you want to publish traditionally or self-publish. Pros and cons:
- You have a team so you don’t have to do it all yourself
- Offers some financial support
- Less ROI
- Less control
- You still do most of the marketing
- You do it all yourself
- More ROI
- Nearly full control
- You do all the marketing
P.S. The decision to publish traditionally or by yourself involves a lot of nuances and choices. If you need additional input, ask a question in the comments below to see what others suggest.
- Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
Hey, I’m just now catching up with your blog. Thanks for sharing these tips. I recently learned abou the immense success of a self-published very young writer named Amanda Hocking. Have you heard of her? Her genre is vampires and the macabre, not my cup of tea at all, but her story of overnight Internet success is amazing.
Linda, I will look into her story. Thanks for the heads up, since that genre is totally my cup of tea! 🙂