Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing vs Hybrid Publishing - The New Evolution
The world of book publishing is changing fast. There are new options for aspiring authors every single day, from do-it-yourself self-publishing to going the legacy route. Before you decide what’s best for you, check out this article about all the different types of publishing and their pros and cons.
The new evolution of publishing is leading to confusion. In the recent past, things were clear-cut. Self-publishing was the option for authors who weren’t accepted by a traditional publisher. Traditional publishers were the first choice for most authors because it offered the best book distribution in stores and online. Now, things are different.
What is the fundamental difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing?
There’s a fundamental difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing, which is that in the latter case, you are in charge and the publisher is just there to provide you with the tools you need. This means you have complete control over your work and can put it out there exactly how you want it to be. The downside of this is that self-publishing requires more work from you and there is no guarantee of financial success, but on the other hand, it also means you don’t have to give up any shares of revenue nor do you have to relinquish control of your vision for the book.
Let’s discover self-publishing, traditional publishing and hybrid publishing in detail.
The traditional model is writers submitting their work directly to the editor of their chosen publisher. This usually means sending in a query letter (an introduction and outline of your book), along with a sample of your first chapter. If the editor likes what they see, they’ll ask to read the rest of your manuscript, or perhaps send you a book contract to sign.
With traditional publishing, you receive an advance when your book is signed. Then, once the book earns back that advance, you will receive royalties (usually 10% of net sales), and those royalties may or may not be retroactive. With larger traditional publishers and established authors, you may get a bigger advance and higher royalties. You also have to wait for approval on the entire creative process, from editorial revisions to marketing initiatives.
Self-publishing has given many authors the ability to make money off their books by retaining control of the creative and business aspects of publishing. They have invested in their work and have spared no expense when it comes to sharing their story. Those who choose this route are serious about making writing a full-time job, and have done everything possible to make sure their book is delivering a great reading experience to potential customers. The power is in your hands as an author to dictate the terms of your future success.
Self-publishing is a great way to publish your book if you don’t mind taking on more challenges because of the lack of support from self-publishing platforms. This avenue could also be more expensive than traditional publishing. For example, many self-publishing platforms require money upfront for services such as cover design and editing—expenses that are often covered by a publisher under traditional publishing. Self-published authors typically pay for their own marketing, although some platforms provide marketing services for an additional fee. Some authors find this worth the investment, but others do not.
Hybrid book publishing combines the best parts of traditional and self-publishing, giving aspiring authors access to professional-quality editing, design and distribution, usually at a lower price than that charged by traditional publishers. Hybrid publishing is another option for writers seeking help with their book.
As a hybrid publisher, Woodbridge does extensive background checks on self-publishing authors. It is important that the options you choose match what you want to write and how much work you're willing to invest on becoming a successful author. Our goal is to make sure that your book has the greatest chance of success in both the traditional and independent markets, and if it doesn’t fit our curation parameters, we’ll let you know before you publish.
The Bottom Line
If you want to write books, there are a few different ways you can do it. It is important that the options you choose match what you want to write and how much work you're willing to invest on becoming a successful author.