Benefit analysis of Traditional Vs Self-publishing

Comparing Traditional Vs. self-publishing

A dilemma faced by many authors.  They are at a loss to decide which type of publishing to go in for. Traditional publishing Vs self-publishing? We analyse and lay bare the facts before you. So you the author can take an educated call about which publishing best suits you and your situation, traditional Vs self-publishing.

For ease of comparison we will take self-publishing to mean a self-publishing company.

Traditional Publishing:


  1. Biggest benefit is that there is NO payment to be made by the author to the publisher to publish his/her book.
  2. You donot need to spend time in deciding which publisher you should go with. The publisher that is willing to publish your book with the best terms is the one you go with.


  1. The biggest drawback is the uncertainty. Whether your book will even get to see the light of day if you decide to take this route.
  2. The time spent, first in waiting to hear from the publisher whether the manuscript is accepted. Second, if manuscript is accepted for publishing then to see the book available in the market. The publishing process can take anytime upward of a year and often more.

Then there are grey areas. These areas some authors will consider  as good and others will consider the same factors as not suitable.

  1. Traditional Publishing Company decides the shape the book is to take based on their analysis. The author or the publisher may make changes which the author may not like or the author feels doesn’t fit his idea of the shape his book should be taking.
  2. Largely there is no involvement of the author in the publishing process except in the marketing of the book.
  3. The publishing process in entirely handled by the publisher except the marketing. The marketing is largely to be done by the author

Recommended for those

  1. Who have a strong writing skill, proven track record as an author, strong personal credentials.
  2. Those who can take repeated, rejection and don’t mind if their book is not published.
  3. One who can afford to wait for a long time for their book to see the light of day.

Self-publishing Company


  1. The biggest benefit is that the author rarely faces rejection. Publishing his book is almost a sure-shot.
  2. The process is quick, takes less than a month to 3 months depending on the services you take.
  3. You as an author are always in the loop, whether it is the                   pre- publishing process, distribution or sales. It’s an open process for authors.


  1. The biggest downside is that one needs to pay to get the book published.
  2. You need to research to find the company that suits your needs and gives you the services you have paid for.

The grey areas would be:

  1. The author’s desires/inputs are most important. Sometimes the author’s inputs or desires are not in tune with the market and the changes he requests does not work in the market. Here author has a product he adores but the readers may not quite enjoy the same.
  2. The author decides depending on his budget the services he would like to take and because of lack of experience or budget constraints misses out on taking services that can be important for his/her book e.g. editing, marketing.
  3. Self-publishing has a strong online presence this ensures, regular sales feed to the author and regular royalty pay outs too but misses out on equally wide distribution to book stalls and book shops.

Recommended for

  1. New authors who want to test the market to see how well the readers accept their writing and where and how they can improve.
  2. For those authors keen to publish their work.
  3. For those that cannot take rejection or cannot wait for long to get their book published eg: professional.

This article covers some of the fundamental differences and I hope, you the reader will be helped by this article.