What to choose Traditional Publishing or Self Publishing?

At last, the long twilights in front of a glowing computer screen, those countless mugfuls of your caffeine of choice, endless write-ups and edits and those countless tweaks to that first chapter to get it just right has finally paid off. You’ve finished your book, and you want everyone to know about it. Hence comes the next stage – whether to choose SELF PUBLISHING or TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING.

Authors from time immemorial have yearned to get published by huge publishing companies; be it Harper Collins in the States or Jaico Publishing house in India. Likewise, every author eyes on getting a top publisher’s stamp on their books. In short, this is TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING.


Traditional book publishing means when a publisher and the author sign a contract and, in turn, the publisher prints, publishes and sells the book through booksellers and other retailers. The publisher essentially and completely buys the right to publish the book. Book deals, especially with major

publishing companies involve the house purchasing the book’s rights from the author. In exchange, the author will receive royalties and an advance on future royalties


A book goes through many hands during the process. In the case of traditional publishing, after being freed from the clutches of the author; it is further transferred to the claws of the publisher. Thus it undergoes editing, rewriting which alters its real essence.

However, to get in a publisher’s eyes, an author’s content should be unprecedented and out of the league. Usually, authors follow the general six-step rule to start writing an impressive and publishing material book

1 Step: Decide your genre

fiction, non-fiction, romance, history, sci-fi, or just literary fiction

2 Step: Comparisons

This is the tricky part, your books need to be similar to movies or books that have connected to the audience heretofore to gain publisher’s trust and yet be different in their way for the book to stand out

3 Step: Find a literary agent

 Most publishers will only accept submissions via literary agents. 

4 Step: Build a strong book proposal

Building up a sample/introductory story is what would catch the eyes of a publishing house initially. Authors need to dedicate quality time to synopsis and sample characters.

5 Step: Submit a query letter

A query letter is a one-page sales letter that you send to a literary agent to pitch your book and ask them if they would be interested in representing you. 

6 Step: Get a publishing contract

As a newly-minted author, there are two main contracts to be aware of:

An agency agreement – a contract between the author and the agent, setting out their terms 

A publishing contract – the agent will handle this, and negotiate the best deal, in discussion with you.

Benefits of traditional publishing

·        Any crowd is attracted to branded items and the same is the case of books. A publishing brand plays the same, attracting a crowd to your book.  

·        Because many experts collaborate to design a high-quality product. The author’s task is completed with submission of the manuscript to the editor.

Disadvantages of traditional publishing

·        It is too time-consuming

·      Moreover, traditional publishing houses aim to maximize profits and thus editors may want to change things about your book to make it more marketable, changing the very essence of the book.

·        With great publishing power comes great financial responsibility, publishing companies tend to keep a cut even from the books’ profits.

·        Along with the profits, even fame is distributed among the company and the author.



Because of these trends observed in the Traditional publishing industry, many authors started Self-publishing their books and became famous thus adding air to the newly lit business, be it john Kremer, John Grisham or Beatrix potter.

What is Self Publishing?

Self-publishing is the publication of media by its author without the involvement of an established publisher. In the purest sense, self-publishing occurs when an author handles the entire book publication process, including printing, distribution, and marketing. Independent Publishing is when the author themself, executives, all the steps of the self-publishing process.

How to Self-Publish?

Unlike traditional publishing, there are not many ifs and buts and the choice of ”what”, ”when”, ”where”, and ”how” rests entirely with the author. He/she can also take help from several Self-Publishing Companies.


In September 2014, there were “perhaps two million” titles in the Kindle Store, according to digital publishing expert David Gaughran. Today there are seven million. As the self-publishing world has got larger; hence the authors and readers have climbed up their “general savviness” to match. 


·        With self-publishing, the author personally designs the layout of your book and determine how many copies will be printed. Hence, this greatly expedites the printing process. 

·        Relatively less time consuming

·        Every penny earned is the authors and not to be divided.

·        The author has the final say and can cut/keep certain parts according to his wish


Every coin has two sides. Although it sounds good, for new-coming writers, for their potential to be explored and for people to read their content. On the other hand, they require branding and proper launching, which usually costs a fortune for young writers. However, if you believe in your story and wants to invest; certainly it’s worth risk-taking.


Most importantly, the last decision is yours. If you want to keep the hands-on your book and not share the royalty with any publisher, then Self Publishing is the ideal option for you. But if you are short of budget and need a publisher to sponsor, certainly Traditional Publishing would be your choice.

Furthermore, if you choose to go for Self-Publishing your book, Betagram Group can be the one-stop solution for all your requirements.

You write a book | Publishers give it a new look

Few talents are recognized | Others are just set aside

This is the book world, my dear | One cannot survive with fear

Self or traditional publishing.

Best of luck, that’s what I am wishing!

About the author: Rashi Mohan

Rashi Mohan

3 comments to “What to choose Traditional Publishing or Self Publishing?”

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  1. Satyajit Prakash - 17th September 2019 at 10:08 PM Reply

    Very informative blog. Very well descried the difference between traditional publishing and self publishing. Got to learn about self publishing.

  2. Who signed tacko fall - 18th February 2020 at 10:10 PM Reply

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