For many authors, the choice between working with a traditional publisher or doing the job themselves, can be daunting. With either option, there are pros and cons to consider.
- Traditional Publishing – You can opt to work with a traditional publisher, in which case, you will, most likely, need to find a reputable agent, who will consider whether to represent you based on the quality of your manuscript and other factors. In general, this is the most competitive and difficult way to get your book to the market. On the other hand, if successful, you will benefit from the considerable production and marketing resources that only an established publisher can provide – all without having to put any financial investment on your part. And, in many cases, you will be able to receive a sizeable advance.
- Self Publishing – Working with a self-publishing services provider like Aalvent Media gives you more control over the book publishing process. With this route, the author retains copyright and makes all the key decisions, including how much to invest in book editing, production and marketing. Most self-publishing consultants will offer a choice of standard packages.
Advantages of Traditional Publishing
- Author Advance – Most established publishers will pay authors an advance, which is calculated based on how well the publishers anticipate a book to do. In addition, authors can expect to receive royalties based on sales. Many writers prefer to work with traditional publishers for this reason.
- Editing, Design, Layout and Printing Services – Traditional publishers employ experienced in-house staff to handle the entire book production process, thus saving authors time and money. These costs can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars – sums that many authors cannot afford.
- Marketing Support – Traditional publishing houses generally handle book marketing – including developing a strategy, assigning experts to work with the author to implement the strategy, and using their contacts to draw publicity for their titles and negotiate distribution with book retailers and wholesalers. Authors do value this extra support.
- Prestige – Until recently, most authors (and readers) considered traditional publishing to be more prestigious than self-publishing. This was in part due to the fact that many self-published books were poorly written and edited. With many established authors choosing the self-publishing route and with the growth of specialized services to cater for the self-publishing industry, this perception is no longer valid.
Advantages of Self-Publishing
- Speed – With traditional publishing, a book can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years to come out. With self-publishing, time to market is greatly reduced. There are simply less hurdles to clear and fewer competing priorities. It is up to the author to decide how fast she wants to move, and often this means a book can come out in weeks or months.
- Copyright – Perhaps, the most important aspect of self publishing is the fact authors enjoy more rights to their work. They can do whatever they desire with their book, for instance, sell rights in selected markets as the please, or release the book to all markets at once.
- Author Control – With self-publishing, the author is in control of the planning, editing, publishing, and marketing process. Even when they engage an outsider service provider to help with these aspects, they retain the final say. And since the author is financing the project herself, she gets to decide how much she wants to invest in her book. Self-publishing empowers authors in ways that are simply not possible with traditional publishing.