The Advantages of Traditional Publishing
by Joy A. Shearer
When considering whether to self-publish or to use a publishing company, think of time, money, and credibility. A self-published author must provide all three, while when using a company, the efforts are shared by a team which spends their time to polish the work, invests their money to get the work off the ground, and delivers the credibility necessary for a product to hit the shelves.
A self-publishing author cannot simply be an author publishing their own work. They must be an editor and attempt to look over their own work with an objective eye. They must be trained in layout and act as graphic designer to ensure their book looks its best. After the book is printed, they must find bookstores willing to carry a self-published book. They must market the book widely and publicize themselves. The self-publishing author must fill several roles at once, while an author publishing with a company has a team of editors, designers, printers, marketers, and publicists who all have the goal of getting the author’s work out and appreciated. An author published by a company can afford to simply focus on their writing.
In addition to playing all the parts, an author without a publishing team behind them financially has several hurdles ahead. If they decide to hire an editor, they must pay from their own pocket. Also there are the costs of production and marketing. Additionally, self-publishing authors must spend time and energy on printing their books, taking orders, shipping, and any returns. An author working with a publisher can allow the company to invest in these activities.
Another hurdle to overcome as a self-publisher is the reputation of self-publishing. Right or wrong, self-published work will be deemed of less quality than that which has been approved and polished by a publishing team. There is more credibility lent to an author publishing through a company—their work has been vetted, edited, and approved, and is therefore attractive to stores who need quality-verified work to sell. A self-published author will struggle to find stores to accept their work while an author with a publishing team has marketers who will use their established networks and know-how to get a book to readers.
If you’re an author considering whether to self-publish or submit your work to publishing companies until you find a good fit, trust that the wait is worth it. Self-published authors don’t have the luxury of being an author focused on writing. Instead they must sink their own time and money into the publishing process, then try and market and publicize their work when the vast majority of sellers will reject their work solely based upon the fact that it’s self-published. Like it or not, self-publishing is stigmatized. Working with a company that provides assistance at each stage of the publishing process ensures the work is the best it can be, from cover to cover.