As a novice writer, you might be wondering about the pros and cons of traditional publishing. By understanding the pros of traditional publishing. You will have a better understanding of the things to consider when you opt for this publication route.
Here is what you should know.
Traditional publishing, more or less, guarantees distribution in bookstores, libraries, and the school market to a certain degree. Bookstores are still number one when it comes to the distribution of your books – if you opt for traditional publishing.
The thing is that traditional publishers have well-established relationships with the primary distributors of bookstores and bookstores themselves. This aspect indicates that conventional publishers are able to sell directly to bookstores – including large chains.
Traditional publishers are experts at getting book placements on the shelves.
Now when it comes to the school and library market. These are two things that most writers usually don’t think about. But these markets can be huge for authors. Especially if they publish books for middle graders or teens.
With that said, traditional publishers have entire teams whose job is to promote and get books distributed in the school and library market, which sometimes can make or break a book. On the other hand, with self-publishing, the distribution of books is a much steeper uphill climb when it comes to getting your book distributed widely and in this manner.
Book distribution is becoming more possible for self-publishing authors. But it is still a lot harder, and it is something that you have to put more funds toward upfront.
Another potential benefit of opting for traditional publication is that you have limited upfront costs. Money in traditional publishing always flows to the author. So, you don’t have to worry about essentially upfront investments.
You already know that with traditional publishing, you don’t have to pay for an editor or a cover or marketing – or any of these things. You could theoretically spend more or less nothing and be traditionally published.
There might be slight exceptions to this. For instance, some writers prefer hiring editors right from the start of their writing journey. But you could also benefit from the best book writing software and ensure that everything is okay regarding spelling, grammar, and other aspects.
Nonetheless, generally speaking, the upfront costs for self-publication are so much higher than for traditional publishing because, with self-publishing. You are responsible for funding the entire endeavor. Including paying to have your book printed or put on a platform that your traditional publisher will always take care of for you.
Another benefit of traditional publication is the system of advance payment. Most traditional publishers pay an advance against sales. This is essentially what the publisher is willing to pay you for your book. They typically pay it to you in a series of payments.
It is not like one lump sum – you get multiple payments from the advanced payment system. For example, your traditional publisher might pay you fifty thousand dollars in advance for your book. That will be paid to you in installments when you sign your contract and turn in your book and when your book is then published.
And then, it is an advance against the sales of your book. If you meet the advance amount, you start earning royalties. The essential benefit of this advance payment system with traditional publishing is that it is a guaranteed sum you know you will receive for your book.
So, the advance payment is a guarantee of an amount you will earn off of your book.
You Have an Entire Team to Back You Up
Another advantage of traditional publishing is that you. As the writer, don’t have to wear all the hats as you have an entire team behind you. On the contrary, with self-publishing, you are responsible for everything. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that as a self-published author, you will be a one-person publishing house.
But – when you go traditional publishing, you are working with a whole team of people to get everything done and get your book out in the world. This deliberates you so much as you don’t have to worry about whether you can be a good salesperson or not.
You won’t have to worry about being really good at marketing or publicity either. With traditional publishing, different people are doing all of those things for you. And – again – you don’t have to pay them to do those things because the money flows to you.
So, if you don’t have the wide breadth of the skill set required for self-publishing, traditional publishing can be quite attractive because you really only have to focus on your writing – for the most part.
Another potential benefit of traditional publishing comes with all the things that a traditional publisher can do for you, such as getting the word out about your book and the publicity team doing their job where they submit your book for review and rewards.
Traditional publishers have a lot of power – they are better able to get you picked up for marketing and publicity reviews. Traditional publishers bear the cost of printing the advanced reader copies of your book and getting them out to start generating word-of-mouth.
The advanced reader copies are essentially an amazing tool in building buzz for your book and getting the word out to the world. The advanced reader copies also go out to the review committees and award committees.
So, these are avenues and access that traditional publishers pretty much exclusively have. Readers can usually differentiate a professionally designed cover from the bookshelf, which takes us to the benefit of the clout of traditional publishers.
Readers are usually able to look at the bookshelves and see the logos of traditional publication houses and see those books as legit books. Now if you think about it – you see this as another pro of traditional publishing. Traditional publishing goes a long way to getting people to give your book a shot.