Are you wondering which route is the best way to go when publishing your books? Are self-published books better than traditional publishing? Let me tell you now from my very own experience.
Better Route For You
Today's article has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. Because it's a secret as to the one scenario where I could see the traditional publishing being better for you.
The topic we're going to discuss in today's article is that Self-Published Books Better Than Traditional Publishing? I know what you're thinking, as a writer this would be like the dream.
The absolute top dream would be to have the book that you've written or in the process of writing be picked up by one of the major publishing houses. Then they would ship this out to thousands of bookstores. You'd be able to see it in the bookstore when you go to visit.
There, your book would be selling millions of copies, New York Times bestseller. This is the idea that we have in mind when we think about traditional publishing. And for some of you, maybe you've been sending in your manuscript over and over and over to these publishing houses.
Hoping that one day your lottery ticket would be pulled. Suddenly, you'd find yourself a famous author which does happen. All we have to do is look to see people who've never published anything and then they are picked up by a major publishing house.
Something like this can occur. I'm going to be talking today about why this scenario is not so likely and why self-publishing is probably the better route for you. Maybe a hybrid option that's the correct choice for you.
But before we get into it, grab a copy of my free Self-Publishing Checklist Secrets to help you publish your book. But not only get it published but also get it sold. Let's get into it from my own story.
When I first got started self-publishing, I had no plan at all to go the traditional publishing route. I had no clue, I didn't have an agent. I didn't even really have a manuscript.
I just had the idea that I want to share with the world. This is a beautiful time to go about putting your ideas out into the world. Just giving it a try to see what happens if you write some great ideas that you have into a book and put them onto the market.
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The process was very complicated for me initially. But after a while, I began to see that if you just break it down, we have one barrier at a time. We overcome that barrier and things get a lot easier.
I've found that out anywhere from running 100 million ads on Amazon to putting 200 books out onto the market that after some time, you begin to find the whole process gets easier and easier. I had no plan on going to traditional publishing. But at the same time, am I a real author if my books are just self-published?
How many sales do I need to make? Well, somebody close to me commented and said look if you sell a thousand copies of your book, that makes you a self-published and actual author. No longer are you just a hobby writer or something just on the side.
But you're a real author at that point. After a thousand sales, did I feel like a real author? I don't know. I think that sometimes we get too wrapped up around these titles.
You know since that point, I don't know how we're at 35,000-40,000 books that have been sold. And do I feel like an actual author? I mean I'm selling around the same range of books that you would have of the traditionally published authors.
But I don't get so focused on this. My question is am I going in the right direction? How am I doing based on my books? This is a question you're going to have to ask yourself too. Are we going to spend so much time wrapped around this idea?
My real author if it didn't go through some gatekeeper. And this is something that many writers struggle with. I have not had this tension and this struggle because of a couple of things I'm going to be mentioning. But I have heard many have gone that route now.
Some who have been picked up by the traditional publishers have regretted it and wanted to go back. We'll also get a little bit into that later. The thing is that going with the self-publishing route, I discovered on Amazon selling the Kindle books I'm making 70% of the royalties.
Compared to what I'd heard that the traditional published between 10%-15% that you would get back if you traditionally publish your book. So for every single sale, think about how many sales you have to make to compensate for the lack of royalties.
I think on average based upon my paperback sales account for it at least is I think almost twice as much as my eBook sales. That means and they only give me between 40%-50%. I think the average was around 50%, somewhere in there.
That's a lot better than only getting 12%-13% on the royalty front. I was very excited to see this 70% if you price your books between $2.99 and $9.99 on Kindle on KDP Select, for example, you don't have to even have it in their Select program to get those royalties.
But in that price range and so you're going to want to do that. And watch some of the pricing videos I put out. That will help you better figure out which price you should set your books at.
The second thing is I was also discovered that I made mistakes on my titles and my covers. I was able just to change them. Well, who did I have to ask? Who did I have to get permission to do that? The answer is nobody, I could just make those changes as I felt necessary.
If I felt it was strategic for me, I didn't have to go contact a publishing house. I had already long forgotten my book to ask them if they could use some time to do this since they're not going to be willing to do this.
Content Marketing Strategy
Maybe you want to buy all your rights back from them. This can be very confusing and complicated as well once it's already been published. Then good luck trying to republish it on Amazon after you've done that.
I've listened to many authors who have tried to do that. When they saw their sales flatlining through the traditional route and then trying to go back, I just really enjoyed the ability to fix things. Like I said before, as we remove barriers, we discover later on down the line that we've made a lot of mistakes.
This is just part of the program, nobody is good at any of this stuff. I was just talking to one of my Coaching clients just the other day regarding this whole issue of some of these programs. Like using Jutoh can be so confusing when we're first getting started.
Especially if we don't work with tech all the time. But the fact is that when we break it down into simple steps, it starts to make sense. Then from that point on, you can do all the formatting of your books.
Just take a look at that as the best formatting program. That's the one that I use just because once you figure out that little variable, then you're able to do it yourself. And if you made some mistakes or want to add a paragraph or want to add some new chapters, no problem at all.
We just simply put them back into the program and it'll spit out a new manuscript for us. The whole process it's about five to ten seconds once we've got it in there. This is just something that you're going to want to keep in mind when you're self-publishing.
That this is a very lucrative way of doing it and also a way to keep the flexibility into it. The next thing was I didn't need any permission to do changes. As I mentioned before and I'd heard all of the horror stories of people who had gone with the traditional publishing route only to discover that they lost all control over their book.
Nobody was doing any marketing, the books were flatlining. They were like well we want to fix the cover and the title and maybe want to fix the content and do some marketing against it. The companies were simply not willing to release their books back to them.
If you're wildly successful with your traditionally published book, then you don't have a problem. Because after all, you're selling millions of copies. You're on Oprah's Book Club, I don't know if that's still a thing.
You know one of the major book clubs. You're a New York Times bestseller so you don't have to worry about it. But I'm not talking to you who've won the lottery because if you've already won the lottery, there's no point in even reading this article.
You still should read because I'm teaching you some tricks that these publishing companies aren't going to tell you. But I would say that you're not my target audience so you could probably go to the channels that are on Youtube. That is focusing on having won the lottery when it comes to your book.
But if you aren't one of those people then stay tuned. Because now I'm going to get directly into the key issues to keep in mind for self-published books better than traditional publishing? The first thing is to control everything about your books plus the higher royalties.
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This is the first and most important thing you can control. How fast you're doing the book? You can control where you place the book. You can change things around on your book and you're going to get these higher royalties.
The downside is you have to do everything yourself. So you aren't going to be able just to I mean you can outsource it but it's not going to be anywhere near the level of quality that these traditional publishing houses are going to do.
But the control may be probably worthwhile for you. If you're thinking maybe you'd make a living off of the books that you're publishing. The other thing is that traditional publishers invest in the marketing of the authors who already have made it.
A lot of the authors who are just making a killing, they're the ones who are going on tours and signing things. Going from bookstore to bookstore.
The publishing houses are paying for food and all sorts of stuff to bring it in. Calling in the media and these sorts of things. I've even had friends who did make it but they weren't famous. And so what happened was you could even find their books in a Barnes and Noble or a borders bookstore.
What then happened with their books was that they were just stuck on the shelves after that. Initially, they go out for just a short period a very short time. They'll have them on the table or maybe displayed at some level in some of the bookstores.
Then they just are buried among the other books. And then the question is how many people know, like, and trust you? That's one of the reasons I push the content marketing strategy because we build this audience.
So that when we come out with books, people are going to know, like, and trust us. They'll buy our books whether they're traditionally published or self-published, it can work either way. The final question you have to ask yourself there is how long do you want to wait?
I agree. Look, waiting is just fine. You're sending in your manuscripts over and over to the traditional publishing houses. If you're smart, you have an agent and you've also taken it through many rounds of the different types of editing that a book can go through.
To make sure it's as polished as possible which is a little bit funny. Because now your book is perfect, it will be making you money right now on Amazon. But instead, it's just sitting and waiting and getting dust on it as opposed to getting it out.
Traditional Publishing Route
I don't have a problem as I said before there's a time and a place that's my third hint. My third secret for the day, the third tip point that I'm to hit. But I did want to say you should draw a time frame.
Look, are you going to go 6 months? Is it going to be 2 years? Is it going to be 10 years? How long are you going to wait to get accepted? If you don't get accepted well then let's go the self-publishing route.
That's the strategic choice that you should be making. I'm not saying you shouldn't go traditionally published if you meet the following criteria. As our third point of the day our secret point it's that traditional publishing is more respected.
That's the first one, so you're going to have your name recognized as look, it was random house publishing or maybe one of the other ones like Penguin or some big publishing houses that are publishing your book onto the market. It's respected, you made it through the gatekeepers.
They valued your book enough to say, look we're willing to pay for this. Most people would say you're immediately an author the second your book gets accepted regardless of the quality of the book. Assuming it's a major publishing house as opposed to a vanity publisher.
Even though I don't like that term as you know before. But a major publishing house and that's going to be respected. I have no problem with that and it works even better than a business card.
You can give people copies of these books that have been traditionally published. It establishes you as an expert in your field. But then again, if you're selling thousands and thousands of copies of your books that are self-published as opposed to just waiting forever for a traditional publishing house to pick up your book.
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I just don't see how exactly you win when you're going along those lines. How exactly is that a win just sitting on the manuscripts? I would say you give it time.
If that's a dream or vision of yours then go for it but otherwise, get going. You know it's like some people I know who work within film production. You could sit in Hollywood and just be working as a serving coffee and waiting for restaurants while you're waiting for your chance to get called.
Or maybe you could make a film. That's not as high up as maybe one of the big Hollywood blockbusters and gets in the way where you start to get recognized. You can go from there.
Kind of like I think The Martian or Fifty Shades of Grey, I think there were a couple of others that were self-published if I recall those were some of the big ones. So you have a series of authors that have self-published and then gone on maybe to go traditionally or just stay self-published over that period.
The point being is you have a lot of options but I'm not trying to convince you not to go with traditional publishing. I'm telling you maybe that's the right route for you, just don't leave your books hanging into this.
There's no man's land this limbo of places where it's neither it's not making you money. The value that you've put in your books we're not able to pull it out. Because your books simply have never made it to the market.
We've never given your audience a chance to even read your book. To see if they like the book. Maybe there are thousands of people or maybe millions of people out there who would be eager to read your book but you've simply deprived them of that opportunity.
I can say for the 200 plus books that I've put onto the market, I can look at many books in libraries around the world. There's a website you can look at your books in the library, it will show you all over the world.
My books are in libraries even it's unbelievable. I don't know am I traditionally published? No, I'm not but my books are all over the world these 40,000 copies. The answer is "yes" when a person finishes reading it, they give it to the library or give it to you know the salvation army or to their friends or some other place or bookstore.
There's value in the books. Then what happens is as they're finished with them, it recycles back into the market. So then other people can get exposed to the books and they're also able to go in there and learn things.
Enjoy the stories there are all sorts of value that they're going to get from those same books. As opposed to if I just had been waiting all these years to try to get it to be traditionally published. I would be depriving a lot of readers of a lot of value.
And at the same time, I would be losing the money that I would be able to reinvest back into more books. So it's sort of a win-win situation if we're able to get these books onto the market. But if you're insistent on traditional publishing, that's just fine but don't be surprised.
I will continue to ask when are you planning to release them onto the market? I understand the goal is traditional publishing but over some time, we're going to have to draw the line at some point and say okay now we're ready to do it.
We're just going to do the formatting ourselves, we're going to get the covers ordered and everything in place. We'll do the descriptions just put it onto the market. Then we can learn to grow and then start building our audience through content marketing. So are self-published books better than traditional publishing?
Are you waiting to get accepted by a publishing house? If you are, then write "Yes" below in the comments. And if you are not, then write "No" below in the comments. Because I need to know where exactly you're coming from when it comes to your books. Check out my other articles and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.