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Lesson 1: UK Book Editor Explains the Pros & Cons of Traditional vs Self-Publishing!

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

UK book editor explains the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing

Professional book editor in the UK highlights the advantages & disadvantages of traditional & self-publishing in brand-new blog series! Continue reading for lesson 1!

Lesson 1: The Pros and Cons of Traditional and Self-Publishing

Hello and welcome! :D

If you're here for this free blog course, it’s a fair bet that you're torn between traditional publishing and self-publishing, so this first lesson will focus on the pros and cons of both.

Over the next seven lessons, you will gain an exclusive insight into the essential steps indie authors must take before they publish, and what YOU can do to give yourself the best chance of independent success.

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In recent years, self-publishing has become super popular with many writers opting for the indie route instead of seeking a literary agent.

But why has self-publishing become so popular? What are the pros of self-publishing?

Here are four of the main reasons writers choose to self-publish their novels:

  • Self-published authors get to keep ultimate control over their work, from the plot of their story to the cover and publishing process.

  • Indie authors get a higher percentage of royalties from their book sales. In traditional publishing, authors receive anything from 7 – 25 percent, but self-published authors can receive up to 70 percent.

  • Self-published authors get to choose their editor and book cover designer.

  • The self-publishing process is much quicker than waiting around for a response from a literary agent.

These four benefits makes self-publishing sound like the obvious option, but although the independent route has its perks, it can be considerably harder to gain visibility, to build an audience, and to generate an income.

But why is it so much more of a challenge?

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Here are five disadvantages of self-publishing to bear in mind:

  • Self-published books aren’t often accepted into book shops like Waterstones, so indie authors have to do all of their promotion online.

  • Indie authors don’t have a management team to organise book signings and publicity events for them.

  • It’s challenging and costly to turn a self-published book into an audiobook or have it translated into multiple languages to reach a wider audience.

  • If done properly, it's more expensive to self-publish a novel - consider the costs of a book editor, a formatter and a book cover designer.

  • It’s much harder for indie authors to win literary prizes that boost recognition.

You may think that being a successful indie author is impossible due to the cons listed above, but that’s simply not true.

If you invest in a professional book editor and a decent book cover designer, and you create an effective book marketing strategy, you could find success as an indie author.

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Now for traditional publishing.

Despite how popular self-publishing has become, thousands of writers still prefer to take the traditional publishing route and query literary agents.

It's understandable that many writers like to keep their novels within their control and receive more royalties per sale, but here are five big reasons why a lot of aspiring authors continue to seek representation from a literary agent:

  • There's a certain status that comes with being a represented author under a well-known literary agency and publishing house, so some writers like to have that prestige that doesn't come with being an indie.

  • Some writers prefer to have professional experts in control of their story so it can become the best it can be and reach a wide audience worldwide.

  • A lot of writers dream of seeing their books in book shops, which can only really happen if you're represented by a literary agent and then get a publisher.

  • Some aspiring authors don't want the burden or stress of hiring a professional book editor and cover designer, or the hassle of learning how to promote and sell their books independently, so the idea of having professionals handle that side while they concentrate on writing is a win-win for them.

  • It doesn't cost anything to query a literary agent or to become a traditionally published author, so many writers prefer this affordable route.

If you'd like to know the main reasons for deciding against traditional publishing, click here and reverse the points!

No one can tell you which path to choose, but I hope these pros and cons have helped you even just a little bit with your decision!

However, if you're completely set on self-publishing, check out the next lesson in this free blog series and discover why building your author platform should be your first step to achieving success as an indie author!

See you there!

- Chelsea x



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Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm a professional book editor at Stand Corrected Editing, my editorial business in the UK. If you need professional book editing services and are currently looking for a manuscript editor, please get in touch and we can get started today!

With my book editing and proofreading services, I hope to spread my knowledge and expertise on how to make your novel a success, and be a mentor to others who desperately want to pursue a fruitful career as an author!

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