Do you self publish or go the route of traditional publishing.
I've read a lot of stuff over the years about self-publishing versus "traditional" publishing and, depending on what I've read and where I've read it, I can see pros and con arguments for either method. Mind you, I am not talking about "vanity press" here. Self-publishing does include vanity press, but I am referring specifically to POD (print-on-demand or publish-on-demand). Vanity press involves paying a company to print 500 or more copies for you to stock in your house. They are not involved in distribution and promotion.
POD, on the other hand, is a process by which you upload your manuscript to one of many online companies and have it on hand for ordering. Note that these companies print copies on demand. Some charge a setup fee for this service, while others (like Lulu.com and CreateSpace.com) are free.
This sounds easy. Right? Not so fast. It’s difficult to distribute your self-publish book to bookstores. They usually are snobs about self-publishing. On the other hand, with traditional publishing, while the publisher picks up your book, most likely they won't promote it.
There is no denying the prestige of having your book published by an established publisher. But, while having a known publisher provide some prestige, some writers prefer to have total control over their novel.
Whichever trajectory you decide to follow, the following are some examples of the advantages and disadvantages of either route:
Advantages of Self-Publishing reference
• You control the cover, marketing, content, editing, and price
• Near instant publication
• You retain the rights of the content after publication
• Most likely you will make more money per book
• Anyone can publish
Disadvantages of Self-Publishing
• Greater potential to publish substandard books
• No free professional editing, formatting, or cover art
• A stigma attached with self-publishing
• Less than 10% of current book market
• The average self-published book is likely to sell no more than 250 copies
Advantages of Traditional Publishing
• Marketing power
• Wide distribution
• Advance could be very substantial
• They edit, format, and do the cover art
Disadvantages of Traditional Publishing
• Difficult to break into
• Don’t involve you in many of the decision about your book
• Measly royalty rates, between 6% and 25%
• Six to eighteen months before your book sees the light of day
• Since they don’t use their marketing power effectively, you still have to go and promote your own book
• They pay royalties twice a year
I would be interested in hearing your experiences, opinion, or otherwise gripe about publishing in general.