Self-Publishing Versus Traditional Publishing, Which is Best?

Self-publishing versus traditional publishing, which is best? This question comes up all the time! It’s exciting that author (and literary agent) Rachelle Gardner took this topic on in How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing (A Field Guide for Authors).

self-publishing versus traditional publishing Review Header

Self-publishing versus traditional publishing

Over the past couple of years self-publishing’s popularity has skyrocketed. It’s shocking really.

While this new-normal was taking over I remember reading post after post about how self-publishing was going to destroy the book industry. And I’m sorry to say I bought into it.

But it is becoming more and more difficult to avoid this new medium and the self-publishing versus traditional publishing debate. Self-publishing is becoming mainstream, profitable, and even—dare I say—socially acceptable.

This abrupt switch has me curious, which is one of the main reasons I wanted to review Rachelle Gardner’s new e-book How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing (A Field Guide for Authors). What I found most interesting is Gardner, a reputable literary agent, self-published this book. In my mind, this qualifies her to write on this subject in a fair and balanced way.

Deciding between self-publishing versus traditional publishing

Although the title aptly summarizes the six chapters, I wanted to add it’s not just for those wondering which method of publishing to pursue. This book works to change the question from “Which one should I choose?” to “How can I utilize these tools best to support my goals?”

I loved Gardner’s straightforward approach to this complex question. She spends time analysing the pros and cons for both traditional publishing and self-publishing. As well she works to dispel common self-publishing myths and makes it crystal clear that self-publishing should not be an excuse to publish poor writing.

As someone who has been disappointed with self-published books in the past, I’m grateful for this last point

This short read is packed with material and is perfect for people who aren’t quite sure where to start with publishing, people who want to understand all the different publishing options, and people looking for credible resources to get started.

Did I mention chapter six is all about resources? In my opinion, this is where the real value of this book comes in. It lists further information on self-publishing, how to get an agent, where to look for editors, reputable book cover designers, and more.

My only criticism of the book is a section with a little quiz. It’s cute, but since it’s an e-book I’m not quite certain how to fill it out.

Overall I found this an easy and a worthwhile read. I came away from this book with a different viewpoint towards publishing and look forward to where it leads me.

Other books about writing and publishing books

Self-publishing versus traditional publishing. The question should change from “Which one?” to “How can I utilize these tools best to support my goals?”

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