Pro: Complete Creative Control
Those who choose to traditionally publish often have no say in the creative process, outside of the book itself, of course. A traditionally published author will often have little say in the title of the book, the book cover, the blurb, or even where it will be stocked. Many authors find this appalling, and as such, prefer to take back this creative control by self-publishing. When you self-publish, you are responsible for every aspect of your book.
Con: It Can Be Expensive
While self-published authors do receive higher royalty payments than traditionally published authors, it can be expensive to get your book off the ground. You will need to pay for editors, cover designers, and marketing expenses all by yourself. Some authors will look to payday loans from direct lenders to help see them through the weeks leading up to a book’s launch, but unless you’re Stephen King, there’s no sure-fire way to tell if a book will be successful or not. For some, having a publishing house take care of all of this is a better option.
Pro: No Deadline Stress
When you traditionally publish, you are often provided with a deadline for completing your manuscript and then dealing with things like edits. This can lead to writer’s block for many authors, and some just can’t handle the stress of needing to meet a strict deadline. The threat of breaking contracts and needing to re-pay advances can make things even worse. Self-publishing doesn’t come with any of this stress. You can set your own deadlines and accommodate everything life throws your way.
Con: It’s Harder to Gain Credibility
There is a stigma surrounding self-publishing and many readers still won’t consider reading a book that hasn’t been traditionally published. Part of the problem is the mass of poorly edited books that appear on online stores like Amazon, but there are many indie authors who create some fantastic stories that don’t deserve for their work to be seen as lower quality. Unfortunately, eliminating this stigma takes time, and many self-published authors find it takes years to be able to charge the same rates as their traditionally published colleagues.
Pro: You Maintain Your Rights
Finally, one last thing that may persuade you to go down the route of self-publishing is that self-published authors maintain 100% of their rights to a book. Traditional authors often have to sign over the rights to their book – and potentially future books as well – in order to secure a contract. This has led to problems to many authors – for example, when publishing houses fold or team members get fired. Self-published authors again don’t have to worry about any of this, making it a more stable option for many.
Have you considered self-publishing your fiction? Let us know how it went in the comments.