Pros and Cons of Self Publishing Every Author Should Know

Pros and Cons of Self Publishing

Self Publishing is the latest trend among the Authors. Reason being the complexities of the Traditional Publishing route. There are a number of pros and cons of self publishing. While Self Publishing gives an easy way to publish and reach readers but the Traditional way comes with perks of professional services and better distribution.

No matter you are published author or debutant. No matter if its a 10 thousand words or 100 thousand. The Question remains the same.


Should you go the indie way and self-publish your next novel?


Answer lies in the pros and cons of self publishing. But, before we take you to the answers, let’s first see the pretty nooks and corners of the modern ways of the publishing world.


Self Publishing

Self publishing, popularly known as Independent or Indie publishing. It is for the jack-of-all authors, who take up the challenge of making everything happen. From writing, editing and proof-reading to marketing, promotion and sales. It actually reduces the cost of publishing and the saved money can be spent in promotions and sales

It actually reduces the cost of publishing and the saved money can be spent in promotions and sales.

Self-directed publishing is little different where the author hires one or more professionals for various tasks such as editing, proofreading, formatting and/or marketing. It costs more than the DIY approach but often ends up with a better book.


Traditional Publishing

Traditional Publishing is where the writer focusses on the writing and the rest is  done by a team of agents and professional who takes your literary work to the publishers. The publishers analyse manuscript and decide  whether it is saleable.

Once the manuscript gets accepted, the Publisher signs a contract with the Author which allows the latter to take over and do the post-writing activities such as editing and everything else. In most cases, the publisher shall not charge anything and the Author gets royalty i.e. percentage of revenues generated by the number of  books sold by  them. Traditional or Mainstream publishing reduces a pressure from the author.

Now that you have known all of it, getting to the answer that you’ve been waiting for. Here are the pros and cons of self publishing that you should know as an Author.


Pros and Cons of Self Publishing


The Pros

Everything is in your own hands. The look of the book cover to the markets you want to sell.

Timely Publishing as you are focussed only on your project while the traditional publishers have piles of manuscripts to work upon.

You have the total control of marketing strategies and the interactions with the readers.

You choose with whom you want to collaborate such as editors, designers instead of having the predefined ones hired by publishers.

A larger return from each sale, from 70 -100% while the royalty from publishers is restricted to not more than 15%.

Freedom from the tantrums of the literary agents and the bottlenecks.

The Cons

With the ease of publishing, a number below par books gets published which makes it quite difficult to stand out. There is a segment of readers who actually judge on the fact whether the book is self-published or traditionally published. Traditionally published authors get more credibility.

In the absence of a literary agent, Self publishing incurs the pressure of handling all the creative and  legal matters on your own.

Lack of a well-managed distribution channel which the traditional publishers boast.

You have to pay for publishing cost without any guaranteed and timely returns.


The Verdict

We would suggest there is no harm in choosing Self publishing but it comes with a warning of being very sure about your plan to have sustainable sales. As a Self published Author you should have a strong network, a better presence in social media and regular interaction with your readers. You have to be a little geek and smart at each step. With all the things done properly, your a self-published book can become a bestseller for sure!


Want you tell us your views? Drop in comments and share the wisdom with other authors.


Lalit Sharma
Engineer • Writer • Entrepreneur • On a hunt for the magic of words & technology!!


  1. This circular is indeed an Elixir. I don’t really have broaching reams to brook in, for the writer kissed the blarney stone and made it understood to the whole enchilada. It is high time we changed the believe of self-publishing. The sooner the better! I rest my argument…


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