As an aspiring author, you’re faced with a difficult decision early on: do you seek a traditional publishing deal or self-publish? The path you choose determines your next actions, like a choose-your-own-adventure book. And wait… there’s also vanity publishing and hybrid publishing to consider.
So, how do you choose your publishing path? Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of traditional publishing, self-publishing, vanity publishing, and hybrid publishing to help you make the best decision for your book.
Many aspiring authors want to “get published”, meaning: have a traditional publishing house take on their book, whether it be one of the Big 5 (such as Penguin Random House) or a small, independent, or niche publisher.
Self-publishing is when an author publishes the book themselves without a publisher. This can be done through various platforms, the biggest one currently being Amazon KDP. An author can choose to self-publish on one platform, several, or many.
Vanity publishing is when a company approaches an author offering to publish their book, and the author pays them to publish the book. The company appears to be a traditional publisher.
Hybrid publishing is a fairly broad term that sits somewhere between traditional publishing and self-publishing. In some cases, this might be a self-publishing company that helps you self-publish in exchange for a one-off cost. In other cases, it might be a publisher that publishes the book for you in exchange for royalties and/or an upfront cost.
So, how do you choose? Well, it really depends on your goals, motivations, and resources as an author.
If you’re not sure, go through the pros and cons lists and write down which are most important to you. What are your must-haves and your nice-to-haves? What are your deal-breakers? Ultimately, only you know which factors are important to you as an author.
If you need help, we offer a range of services including coaching, critique, editing, design, proofreading, and marketing. We’re not a publisher. We’re not a vanity publisher. We simply help authors get their books ready to self-publish or ready to pitch to an agent or publisher. One-off cost, no royalties, no confusion. You can get in touch with us here or connect with us on social media.
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