Traditional Publishing vs Self-Publishing — Pros and Cons

Jennifer N. Adams
11 min readMar 31, 2021

Traditional vs Indie

Some people think indie authors make a lot of money from their books, or that they have a lot of money to self-publish.

Not entirely true.

True, some indie authors make quite a bit of money on their works; however, most indie authors don’t get paid much for their books because some people would rather buy a $25.00 or $29.00 book written by a traditionally published author, plus the tax from the chain store where they purchased said book. Indie books aren’t priced nearly as high and some of us aren’t found in large chain stores. Nevertheless, it takes some leg work on our part to get our books on those shelves, and at times we aren’t always accepted.

Some people sneer when you say you’re an indie author. They think anyone who self-publishes their work writes complete rubbish.

Not entirely true.

It is true though, that some of those who self-publish their work may skip the steps it takes to publish a good book, which then can give the rest of us, who go through the checklist of things to do before publishing, a bad rap; editing being the first on the checklist. I cannot stress this enough: you need to hire a professional editor.

There are many reasons why a lot of us authors are going the self-publishing route.

Royalties: You don’t have to go through another person to get your royalty check. There were times when I didn’t receive a royalty check. And when I did, it wasn’t much to brag about. With self-publishing, you can receive a higher percentage of royalties than you would at a traditional publishing company. So, yes, the royalties are much better as an indie author. You’re not getting a smaller percentage because the traditional publishing company you had chosen pays everyone before sending you your tiny bit of what is left over in royalties.

Marketing: I paid my traditional publisher money to market my work for me and it was a waste of money. As an indie author, you do all the marketing yourself. True, it may cost a bit of money, but you can choose where to market and how much to spend. There are places that are free, and there are places that will charge you. I may be doing all the work marketing my books, but I know it’s getting done and I know where my money is going. Plus, I was doing most of the leg work when I was a traditionally published author…

Jennifer N. Adams

Author, Autism Mom, Anthropologist, US Navy Veteran. You can also find me: