Many people have asked me, "Do you think it is better to self-publish my book, or should I try to reach out to a traditional printer?" And to this, I usually respond, "It depends..."
That's right. It depends...on a number of things. Here are a few things to consider when pondering that question:
1. Are you good with marketing?
2. Do you have money to invest into publishing and marketing?
3. How in a hurry are you to see your book in print?
By answering these three questions you'll be able to determine which route (self-publishing or traditional publishing) is best for you.
Here are just a few pros and cons of self-publishing and traditional publishing:
Pros of Self-publishing:
1. You maintain all creative control over your book (from the content therein to the book cover)
2. You can set the price of your own book and determine your own compensation plan
3. You determine the release date of your book
4. You determine how fast your book is produced and published
Cons of Self-publishing:
1. You have to control the marketing aspect (and if you don't have any marketing experience, this could spell disaster for you)
2. There may be a substantial out-of-pocket cost to produce and publish your book (for example, things such as book cover design, formatting, the software needed to create your book, copy-editing, and more can add up in cost)
Pros of Traditional publishing:
1. Traditional publishers eat all cost as it pertains to the production, publication, and promoting (marketing) of your book
2. Well established traditional publishers often have an excellent fan-base, one that you, as an author, would be exposed to
3. Well established traditional publishers have connections to retailers, which often guarantees that your book will make it on the shelves of retail stores (again, this is only a high possibility, not a guarantee)
Cons of Traditional publishing:
1. You have no control over the creative direction of your manuscript; the publisher does
2. You don't determine the release date and the price of your book; the publisher does
3. Wait times for having your manuscript accepted by a traditional publisher could last from 6 months up to several years - and even with that, they can cancel your book's release and revoke your contract if they feel your book is not going to yield a return
4. To a degree, you still have to get out and market your book on your own
5. You'll generally receive a much lower compensation rate for your book sales
There are many more pros and cons that can be brought out when looking at these two options, but these are some of the main ones to consider. Even still, either way - going through a traditional printer or self-publishing your own book - there is a chance of success and failure. Neither option is guaranteed to bring success your way. You still have to put in work in order to make your book a success.