Decisions, Decisions: Traditional or Self-publishing?

As I’m not a published author, I’m hardly the best person to answer this question. So what’s with this post? Well, I’ve had several IRL and online friends ask me about publishing. Presumably because I have a lot of contact with indie authors. You surround yourself with a certain group of people, whether it’s authors or artists or whole-foodies, and you forget that everyone else has their own particular circle, and may not have ready access to the same information you do. So I threw out a request for resources to my author and blogger friends.

You can find more information on this subject with a Google search, but as with any search, it can be overwhelming. So I put together a few sites to get you started. Many of these are pro-self-publishing, but not all, and I’ve included some sites from authors who have used both methods so you can get a balanced opinion.

Neutral Posts

Traditional vs. Self-publishing is a False Dichotomy   There is no right or wrong way to publish. It’s up to each author to decide what your goals are.

Traditional Publishing And Self-Publishing Are Not Mutually Exclusive  An author can have both indie and traditionally published books. The decision should be made book by book.

Self-publishing vs publishing with a traditional print publisher A pretty good list of the pros and cons of both methods.

Traditional and Vanity publishing houses Vanity publishing is what many people still think of when they think of self-publishing, but it’s no longer the only way.

Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing Dean Wesley has written a whole series of posts explaining more of the traditional publishing process and the differences in publishing your own work. It’s most likely not what you expect. Wesley has a large body of work and he’s published both ways so he seems like a great source for information.

The Publishing Series has a lot of information about traditional publishing. Not necessarily good or bad, just informative.

The Indie/Trad Debate. Why Are We Still Talking About This? Readers only care about quality books. They don’t care how or where the books are published.

7 Signs that Indie Publishing is Right for You Yes, I know what the title says. But if you don’t have the characteristics listed, then self-publishing may not be for you.

How self-published authors can overcome the DIY stigma From a book blogger’s perspective. Predominately aimed at indie authors, but I recommend any author read this before trying to get reviews from bloggers.

Pro Self-publishing Posts

10 Reasons You Should Skip the Traditional Publishers and Self-Publish Ebooks Instead Ten huge advantages that self-publishing has over legacy publishing, according to successful author.

This whole blog is full of great information, but this article in particular: The Secret Myth of Traditional Publishing is helpful.

How Amazon Saved My Life by Jessica Park One author’s tale of why she chose to self-publish after having 5 books traditionally published.

Dear Traditionally Published Writer by Cheryl Shireman Why it’s okay to self-publish.

EBooks: Could You Be the Next Self-Published Star? Article on ABC News about self-publishing

Two surveys highlight the “satisfaction divide” between indie and trade-published authors The results lead overwhelmingly to the self-publishing decision

Romance Writer Dave Thome Reflects on Self-Publishing Dave Thome talks about self-publishing in a guest post, and the blog owner also has something to say about it. This one’s a two-fer.

Pro Traditional Publishing Posts

Stop the press: half of self-published authors earn less than $500 Results of a survey of self-pub authors.

With All the Publishing Options, What’s an Author to Do? From an author who has used both methods. Some pros and cons of both, but she prefers the traditional route.

More Information

Publishing a Book Using CreateSpace If you’re wondering exactly what’s involved in publishing a book using CreateSpace, this is a good guide.

Published a book? A promotional “To Do” list Not as in-depth as Coral Russell’s book, but it will get you started. Also, you’ll pretty much need to do these things even if you have a publisher. Unless you’re already a NYT Bestseller, the publisher isn’t going to do much to promote you.

Helpful sites for self-publishers Great list of resources. The post was written in March 2011, so keep in mind the ever-changing nature of the internet. Some sites may no longer be available.

We won’t talk about how many hours I spent putting this post together, and yet I’m sure I missed some great resources. If you know of a great site, blog post, or article for helping authors make the publishing decision, please share it with us.

8 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions: Traditional or Self-publishing?

  1. Great resource! Thanks for posting this. I would also recommend David Gaughran’s e-book “Let’s Get Digital”, as well as J.A. Konrath’s blog, for the pro-self-publishing side.

    • Thanks, Lynne! I can’t believe I didn’t have anything by J.A. Konrath. I knew I would miss some good stuff, but this post was taking over my life, so I just had to stop researching at some point and start writing.

Leave a Reply