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Dry Roses and Diary

Author Resources: Self-Publishing v. Traditional Publishing: Explaining the Difference

There are quite a few options available to you when you look into the publishing process, and I know a lot of it is contradictory and overwhelming depending on the "type" of publishing. In this post, we're going to talk about the differences between the three main methods of publishing: self-publishing, traditional publishing, and the middle ground: indie presses.


Understanding the differences between these types of publishing will help you understand which one you want to pursue.



Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing means that your book's rights are purchased by a publishing house, and then that publishing house handles all of the costs associated with production and distribution, including editing, cover design, formatting, and limited marketing.


The traditional publishing process, in general, works like this:

  1. Finish and polish your manuscript - this does not mean hiring a freelance editor, but typically does include several beta readers and critique partners

  2. Query literary agents - this person will be representing you and your book, so it's very important to find the right literary agent, and not just the first one who offers representation

  3. Go through revisions with your agent - this step depends on the type of agent you signed with; some will offer editorial feedback, and some won't.