The choice between self-publishing and traditional one is a classic one for all writers, and one that does not have one definitive answer. However, depending on your situation, you may find that publishing your own novel by yourself is the right way for you to go, or you may well find that it is not at all. Here is how to find out if self-publishing is the way for you to go.
If you are writing a book to earn lots of money, reach the top of the bestseller’s list and become a famous author, then self-publishing is not for you. In all likelihood, it will take you a long time to earn enough money to live on your book sales alone, and the notoriety that you will earn will be slow coming, if it comes at all.
Traditional publishing, while it involves many hoops to jump through, red tape to get past and editors, marketers and distribution managers to coordinate with, is more likely to earn you real recognition and book sales once your book is out on the shelves. If you are looking for the self-justification or credibility of having your book appear on the top sellers shelves in Barnes & Noble or Waterstones, then sifting through the red tape, sending multiple proposals and searching for the best and most lucrative book deal will be worth your time, but just be aware that the book deal you eventually get may not be that lucrative, especially if you are a newcomer to the book publishing business.
If you are writing a book because you think that you have something that really needs to be said, that people really need to read, then you should go down the route of self-publishing. If you want your words to be read, they are more likely to be read sooner rather than later if you publish your works yourself, but beware that it doesn’t come cheap! The self-publishing process requires you to pay out of your own pocket for things such as copy-editing, cover design, printing and distribution.
If self-publishing is right for you, then you have an idea that you want to share, and sharing that idea and inspiring others with it is more important to you than earning big bucks and becoming one of the world’s bestselling authors. Remember that the book is not the end of your story, it is the beginning of your journey, and getting it out there will set you on a journey which will hopefully be more lucrative than a year of wading through rejection letters and laughable book deals.