Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Are you thinking of writing a book, but not sure which route to take in terms of publishing? I understand and I have you covered. I have been there and worn that badge, so let's chat. First, I have to say as a vanity children's book publisher that helps mompreneurs self publish I am bias, so take my advice with a grain of salt. Originally, my game plan was to get signed with a large publishing company, have them do all the marketing while I did book tours and collected checks from the beach on my down time. It's a no-brainer dream, right? Not so much!

First, I realized my chances of my manuscript getting discovered were slim to none if I did not have a literary agent. This person helps you land and negotiate your contract with the large publishing companies, but they must truly believe in your vision. Right there, I immediately recognized that I went from being a writer to now feeling like I had to prove what I believe is my God given talent. Okay, but if it's good enough I should be fine right? Let's say, I land the contract. Well, it will surely be for 6 figures right? That's how it looks in all the movies. Sadly, I was disappointed again to find on average it would be about $25K with a royalties share of up to 90% to the publisher. If I am still being open minded, I realize it's better than nothing and now I have the support of a team who will bring MY vision to life. Nope, wrong again traditional publishers are in the business of sales, so if the title, storyline, launch date and even illustration ideas you came up with doesn't align with their marketing plan then all of the above may be compromised. It's nothing personal, it's just business, right? It's true for the publisher, but as an author I would take those deciding launch factors very personal. Thankfully, they are still going to do all the marketing, so I can just relax when I hand over my book. Wrong again, as the author you are still responsible for partial marketing of your book and usually this whole process takes two years, so be careful about writing books that are relevant in this moment.

It's not all bad. In fact unlike self publishing there generally isn't any upfront costs for the author and eventually that royalty percentage increases for you based on how your book is performing over time. Also, I am pretty sure traditional publishers have friends with USA Today and NY Times Bestsellers among others, so do not rule them out.

If keeping 100% of your royalties sounds good than keep reading. When self publishing the most exciting part is maintaining control of your book from title, to illustrations to launch date, storyline and marketing. Is it a lot of work? Yes, it is! If done correctly, it can come with a generous payoff as well. Are you one of those whose personality needs to be hands on or hands off? Are you willing to invest in your dream? Are you willing to take suggestions from a book coach to help you have the best results with your original ideas? If so, it sounds like self publishing is the route for you.

If not, you have options it's called a vanity publisher. This company will do the leg work for you much like a traditional publisher, but you get all the glory as the author. Here's the catch, you pay upfront yet walk away with 100% of your royalties as if you self published. Not bad, huh? Well, if you have any questions for any of the above give me shout and together we can see which is the best fit for you.

Happy writing,

Audrey O. Hinds