Chris A. Baird | June 3, 2020
Which Is Cheaper Traditional Or Self-Published Books?

Let me guess, you're new to self publishing and thinking about which is cheaper traditional or self-published books? Take a look at these few guides and learn about how to deal with its cost.

Know Your Budget

Today's question has three answers. The third answer is a secret that shows you that the framing, the question itself has a little bit of a challenge that we're going to want to take a closer look at.

So let's get right on into it. The question that was sent to me is, which is cheaper traditional or self-published books?

Now, this is an excellent question that many people have. They're trying to figure out which way should they go?

If you have a limited budget. Should you try doing traditional or self-published books? Or should you go with the self-publishing route?

And that is something that many people, writers are looking to figure out what the correct answer is. With a limited budget, it does not make a little bit trickier. Tricky to figure that out.

But before I get started, check out my free Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist. It has a lot of things that will help you to create your book and also help you sell it. Go ahead and check that out.

So let's get started. When I first started publishing, I discovered that traditional publishing was not going to work for me. The biggest reason was, it is extremely difficult to get your book accepted.

Then you have to wait. And there's a whole series of things involved in making sure that it ends up being the right quality. You have to find publishers that would be interested.

Many of them are already looking for the following. There is a whole series of things. So for me, I went the self-publishing route.

Check out this related article: How To Publish On An Online Bookstore?

I also went to the cheapest route I could find. Since I did not have a large budget when I was first getting started.

After the budget started to come in, then I could upgrade things. And the cost started to increase with each book that I was producing in some ways.

It also decreased in other ways with areas that I found that it may be perhaps wasn't as important to use the money on.


So let's get into the answers. So the first is, traditional publishing costs you nothing. In this sense, it's cheaper but there's a catch here.

And the answer is to get traditionally published, you're going to need somebody to accept your book. That would suggest that you've already invested a lot in your book.

You've invested the time perhaps you've already had it edited before you even submit the book to the major publisher. To get it checked and to make sure that the book is high enough quality.

That they would want to do it. Maybe you've done some research and used research tools to do this.

Many people though haven't invested that much in their book if they're going the traditional publishing route. The problem though is, are they even going to accept it?

So we could say, something is free for example, winning the lottery might be free. I mean it cost you a dollar or whatever it might be. But what's your probability of succeeding in that route?

And so the second answer brings in that self-published books do cost you more. But you get higher royalty rates.

Keep in mind with Kindle the royalty rate is 70%. If it's priced between three dollars and ten dollars. so this is something you're going to want to consider.

As opposed to traditionally published books. That is only going to take you about 11%. So that is not something you're going to want to forget about.

Check out this related article: 3 Steps To Winning With Self-Publishing Signs

So if you're going to decide which is cheaper between the two, the money you can expect back is going to be a lot higher on self-published.

Also, you're going to have complete control over your cover and your title. And all sorts of stuff that many traditional publishers just ignore sometimes.

Amazingly, they will ignore these things. And will choose titles and covers that will simply sell fewer books.

You also have control over marketing. Which site is going to be on? If you wish to edit and change the contents of the book, you can do that.

Return On Investment

And the rights, remain yours the entire way on the self-publishing route. So do they cost more? Yes, you have to get the cover you've to do the editing yourself.

You have to do all of these of course, again on the traditional side, you should be getting it edited anyways. Before you submit the book in.

But then they will run it through all of the advanced editings. That would cost you quite a bit more money if you do it yourself.

But let's move on to the secret point number three. And that is that cost isn't a good measure. Instead of looking at the cost of something to figure out whether or not it's a good idea, we should rather look at the ROI or return on investment.

This is a much better way to go. That is to say, if I put $1 into something and I get $2 out, well, I would say the cost was fantastic. It was very cheap.

But if I put $1 into something and I get absolutely nothing out, then I would say it was rather expensive.

Check out this related article: After Self-Publishing What Is The Best Way To Market A Publication For Free?

So the cost of something whether something is pricey or cheap, which is the underlying question, not just the idea of how much is it going to cost me, is going to be determined by the return on investment.

So we want to know whether something is a good deal or a bad deal. When we're looking at the overall picture, there's one other factor that we hit a little bit earlier.

It is that when we publish something out there or when we're trying to get something published, let's say traditionally published, anytime I'm investing also is a cost.

Then we would ask, what is the probability that a major publisher is going to pick up your book? And if the probability is very low from one of the large publishing houses, then the cost is incredibly high.

Because you're going to use all of this time and effort. Because your time is not free. I hope you don't think your time is free.

You're going to use all of this time and effort only to get your book rejected by one of these houses. In a sense, this was extremely expensive.

So what about you? Which is cheaper traditional or self-published books? Have you found that one is cheaper than the other?

Go ahead and let me know and check out my other blogs and video for more answers to your self-publishing questions.

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