Self-publishing-500x500Traditional publishing or self-publishing? This is the first question authors need to ask themselves once they’ve completed their manuscripts (or even before). There are pros and cons to both sides of the industry. Self-publishing is, now more than ever, a viable option for most books. It bypasses the frustration and heartbreak of the traditional publishing world and guarantees success, to a certain degree. Let’s breakdown the advantages and disadvantages of each path, so you can choose the one that’s best for you and your manuscript.




  • The author retains all creative and editorial control of the work
  • The author has control of how the book is produced, marketed, and advertized
  • The author retains 100% of all profits
  • The author decides the production schedule
  • The author is guaranteed to have a published book at the end of the self-publishing process



  • The author is responsible for financing all production costs upfront
  • The author is responsible for the costs of marketing and advertizing
  • The success of self-published books largely depends on the author’s ability to promote and distribute the book


Traditional Publishing


  • The book’s publisher bears all the costs of production
  • The book’s publisher bears the costs associated with marketing, advertizing, and promoting the book
  • The book is produced under the publisher’s imprint, giving the book the benefit of the publisher’s reputation


  • The author is paid only a royalty per copy sold (usually between 7-12% of list price)
  • The publisher has creative and editorial control of the production
  • The publisher has marketing, advertizing, and promotional control of the book
  • There is no guarantee of success.


Even with an agent on your side, there’s a chance your manuscript won’t get picked up by a traditional publisher. Any author submitting their work for traditional publishing, or agent representation, has to be prepared for the possibility of rejection. Even the best, most successful authors in the world have been turned down. Landing a publishing contract takes an outstanding product, a fierce agent, perseverance, and more than a little luck.

If going through the process of traditional publishing isn’t for you, self-publishing might be your best option. To consider this further, visit 4th Floor Press, Inc., our self-publishing arm, and discover all the options this path to publication has in store for you.