Some Links Comparing Traditional to Self Publishing

Mostly, this article provides an okay summary of the advantages of each.  I do have a complaint, though.  What the crap is this about:

With self-publishing, you often pay thousands of dollars, depending on the company you choose.

Huh?  I think that most self pubbers go the DIY route.  Not disputing that you have to spend money to make money, but I’m not paying a “company” for anything.

We need more of this kind of article.  I recently got into a minor flame war on a forum with a lady who refuses to accept the legitimacy of self publishing.  I don’t think that self publishing is the way to go for everyone, but it is a valid option.

This article talks about how self publishers are perceived by the industry.  The label, to an extent, is justified because some delusional people publish before they’re ready.  Out of four self published books that I’ve read, two were pretty darn good; one read pretty bad but, I think, just needed the touch of a good editor to make right; and the fourth was down right awful.

This article from gives a great overview of the history with predictions for the future.  If you’re trying to decide which method is for you, it’s a must read.

What do you think?  Why did you choose, or are leaning, one way or the other?


4 thoughts on “Some Links Comparing Traditional to Self Publishing

  1. Thanks for these, Brian. There’s some interesting reading here, particularly the Forbes article. The final page, with its three predictions, is right on the money. Fascinating to read the comments, though, and see how many people are still using the tired old line that ‘all self-published books are rubbish’. It’s not true now and it never was. Some of the best books I’ve read in the last couple of years have been self-published, and part of the reason is that the authors don’t have to conform to someone else’s idea of what they should write. They can be guided by their own creativity instead of fossilised marketing considerations.

    • Pauline,

      It is so true that there’s some good self published stuff out there. I just wish it were easier to find.

      There’s also a lot of complete dreck.

      Thanks for the comment.


  2. The creative control was the deal-breaker that put me over into self-publishing. I knew I never would be satisfied without control over the cover, website, blurbs, etc….

    While you may not have to pay a company, if you want a polished product, some money will have to flow. Editing can range from 1300-3000$, Book cover, banners, etc can run 300-600$ or more, websites and hosting can be 100$ annually.

    • JR,

      For me, it came down to: the time it takes to traditionally publish and the fact that I like the thought of doing something entrepreneurial.

      Regarding your numbers, they seem high. I think you can get a lot of copy/line editing done by arranging beta reader exchanges with other authors. Then, have a manuscript review done by a professional editor. You should be able to get that done under $500. I have a great artist lined up for my cover for $400. I paid under $20 for my domain name, and WordPress is free.

      You can do it all on a budget if you have the time and available expertise.

      Thanks for the comment.


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