How Is Self-Publishing Different From Traditional Publishing?

The primary difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing is who pays money and who has ultimate creative control. Some authors use both traditional and self-publishing methods. But before you decide which method is better for you, take a moment to learn the difference between the two.

In the book publishing industry, a traditional publisher may pay a promising author an advance for their book, and then pay for the physical production of the book, plan the distribution and general promotion of the work to the public. Once the publisher earns back the amount of money they paid to the author in the form of the advance, the author will receive royalties, typically 5%-15% of sales revenue. Because most authors have a literary agent who represents them, the literary agent typically earns 15%-25% of what the author earns from the publisher. In most cases, traditionally published authors also invest their own earnings into publicity and promotion activities above and beyond what the traditional publisher offers to increase their book sales.

A self-published author takes full responsibility for managing and funding the production, distribution, and promotion of their book. While this means they are able to keep more of the money they earn from sales, it also means that they will have to effectively manage their budgets.

Based on this explanation, which publishing option sounds more appealing to you? 

Read more about which approach is best for you.  

Danielle Fetherson

Danielle helps aspiring authors become published authors. She believes that everyone has at least one book on the inside of them that can make a positive impact on someone else's life. If you have been thinking about writing a book, learn how to start your book today with the free resources at