Tuesday, April 26, 2011


So, to self-publish or go with the traditional approach? That seems to be the question a lot of aspiring authors who are trying to break into print are asking themselves nowadays.

Let's look at both of the options here.


1. Market yourself

2. No rejections

3. Set your own royalties (in most cases)

4. Oftentimes sold through major online retailers still, like Amazon

5. Design your own cover work

6. No agent/editor fees (you're doing everything YOURSELF)

7. And lastly, you retain all of your rights to your work.

Traditional approach (sending queries to major agents/publishers):

1. You still market yourself in most cases, but have the help of the agent/publisher as well.

2. Chances of a lot of rejections before acceptance- so there could be quite the waiting period before you are actually ever published, if published.

3. The publisher sets your royalities. Chance of a sign-on bonus as well.

4. Sold in stores and online chains.

5. Agent and editor fees.

6. You may get some say in the design work, but there's a design team so usually your cover and book is designed for you and may not be to your liking.

7. You lose some rights to your work as you are in a contract with the publisher.

I honestly do not have a problem with either form of publishing. In fact, I would even go as far as advising to use BOTH options. There's no harm in it. Self-publishing can be very successful nowadays with all of the social networking (and sites like GoodReads) but at the same time, an aspiring author who also wants to break into the major publishing world could look into the traditional approach- perhaps after even using self-publishing as a form of experience.

What do you think? Would you agree or disagree?

~The Bookaholic


  1. Hi! I'm your newest follower! I guess if the author is computer savvy and can figure out how to do everything on their own then self publishing is the way to go but if they're completely clueless, like me, they may need all the help you can get.

  2. Hi! Thanks for the follow! :)
    Yes, I agree with you there, too. I think that self-publishing is great if you have good marketing skills/can have the time to spread the word easily through a lot of social networking, etc. as well. Traditional might be better for a person who needs help in all that, but doesn't mind having the patience since it can take longer to publish through traditional- rather than just going with self-publishing to publish your work when you're ready.

    I forgot to mention there's a new growing trend in authors also going the route of seeking out small Indie publishers. They're a lot like traditional, but you do some of the marketing yourself like you would with self-publishing- and many Indie publishers take unsolicited queries (authors who query without an agent). Which is a big plus when you're an unpublished author trying to get your first big break. :)

    Sorry, I rambled. :P

  3. Hi,

    I love this topic. I am a self published author. My first book is The Virgin Diaries. A book for virgins. I interviewed seventy-two men and women on what first time sex feels like...emotionally as well as physically.

    After being rejected by agents etc, I chose self publishing. I utilized createspace.com.

    If you are an unknown author, it is very close to impossible to get a publisher and if you do, you relinquish all control. Even though it would have been great to get an advance, I wouldn't get much more. I would have to make a name for myself regardless. I like having all the control.

    Amanda Hocking is an excellent and extreme self publishing success story. In one year, she became a millionaire with her self published titles. Now the Publishing Houses are salivating to get a piece of the action SHE created.

    If your book is good, if it has a broad appeal and is formatted and edited well, social media marketing can take you far.

    This industry is rapidly changing and I am very excited to be a part of it.

    Thanks for your blog!

    Kimberley Johnson

  4. Hi Kimberley!

    Congrats on publishing!
    Yes I agree with you, too. Traditional works great for some, especially if you get on with a great company and agent- but nowadays with the advancement of technology, I think self-publishing and indie publishing is making a good rise as well for some of us "lesser known" authors who just want to get our name out there and keep a lot of the control. :)

    I have heard of Amanda Hocking! I haven't read anything of hers yet, but she is on my to-read list because I do plan to check out her work. I love that she set a great example as to how successful self-publishing can really be, too. Did you also know that the author of "Eragon" was originally self-published, too? And look where he's at today! Huge and books are being turned into movies. Absolutely great! :P

    I'm of mind, though, that I really am not out to be some big best-seller when/if I ever publish. It's not a goal. I love to write and that's it. I just want to see my work in print one day. That's why I may just end up deciding to go with self-publishing/Indie, rather than the long route of seeking out an agent and traditional publishing. I'm not sure yet.

    Thank you very much for the comment and follow! :)

    Pixie (The Bookaholic)


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