global book writers’ expert insight on the difference between self publishing and traditional publishing

At some point in our lives, it becomes an unavoidable innate instinct of every human being to either tell a story, communicate a message or give voice to an opinion they have had lurking inside for years to come out in the form of words. This instinct to communicate a thought or an idea with another is by far one of the only true reason why book writing (for those who have experienced writing a book) is one of the most rewarding experiences in our lives, given that we see it through all the way (or at least try to). Then, after adequately following the right book editing and publishing steps you finally publish your book for the world to read, critique and admire, for years to come. And then your book becomes your legacy.     

However, it is crucial to emphasize following the right steps required for publishing your book. So, for now, let’s come back down to reality and really focus on these so-called “right” book publishing steps;

The first and foremost step is to identify and choose the right type of book publishing that your book requires. There are only two types of book publishing options for every book writer, each of which has its own set of pros and cons as per the publishing requirements specifically for your book. The two types of book publishing practices are commonly known as;


Self-publishing, as the name suggests, is when the book writer decides not to hire any kind of third party book publishing services from any kind of book editing and/or book publishing service providers, instead, they decide to cover all aspects of publishing a book by themselves. This becomes a tough job as self-publishing involves editing, designing and formatting, and marketing and sales of the book without the help of a traditional book publishing service provider or a company specifically offering book publishing services.

the most obvious reasons to opt for self-publishing your book is to have complete creative control and to experience a feeling of liberation as you get to see your idea or story take shape from a thought in your head to a physical book.

Bear in mind that self-publishing is further divided into two self-publishing methods which are:

Self-Publishing Independently – in this scenario the book writer takes all the necessary steps required to fulfil all aspects of publishing their book, including writing, editing, and formatting to printing, distribution, and marketing.

If however, the writer is forced to seek help from external sources due to the lack of skill set required for a specific process like designing or marketing then by all means they can feel free to hire professional book publishing services or companies specifically catering to self-publishing book services. 

Self-Publishing with a company – There are numerous self-publishing book service providers in the market dedicated to helping and guiding book writers who want to take the self-publishing route.

Traditional Publishing:

This approach is somewhat a more streamlined book publishing process where the book writer does not really have to worry about the time, effort and mainly costs required for processes like designing, marketing etc. In the case that you choose to go with the traditional publishing process for your book you will have to keep the following points under consideration:

  • Getting your manuscript scrutinized and rigorously criticized before maybe getting approved by a well known Traditional Book Publishing company.
  • A team of experts will take charge and have full creative authority over your book’s design, sales and marketing processes.

With all said and done, both, Self-publishing and Traditional Publishing have their advantages and disadvantages. It really depends on what your requirements are as a book writer and how much do you want to be a part of the publishing process.

In the end, the main difference between Self-publishing and traditional publishing boils down to who owns the rights and royalties to your book. Self-publishing allows the book writer to exclusively own all rights and royalties to their book. With traditional book publishing, the rights and royalties are mostly owned by the publishing company and in some cases, all rights and royalties are owned exclusively by the publishing company.