Self Publishing, Traditionally Publishing or Vanity Publishing?

This topic comes up all the time and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it.

But there are some pros and cons for each way, so let’s explore the key differences of self-publishing, vanity publishing, and traditional publishing, so you can make an informed choice that fits your vision and goals.

Traditionally Publishing

Pros: Traditional publishing offers the expertise and guidance of professional editors, illustrators, and marketers. This route often comes with wider distribution, greater credibility, and the potential for your book to reach a larger audience.


Cons: Landing a traditional publishing deal can be highly competitive and time-consuming. It involves submitting your manuscript to literary agents or publishing houses and facing the possibility of rejection.
A lot of agents and publishers expressively state that they do not accept picture book submissions.
Also, you may have to give up some creative control and accept lower royalty rates. It is reported that traditionally published books return a 5-10% royalty on RRP and most authors sell less than 1000 books in its lifetime.

Vanity or "Hybrid" Publishing

Pros: Vanity publishing allows authors to see their book in print without navigating the traditional or self publishing process. You pay a fee to have your book produced and enjoy the satisfaction of holding your creation in your hands without having to worry about “how”.

Cons: While it often offers a faster path to publication, vanity publishing might not provide the same level of editorial and marketing support as traditional publishing houses. Additionally, it can be very costly, and the distribution may not be as widespread as you’d like, especially if you have limitations on how and where you can distribute.


Self Publishing

Pros: Self-publishing grants you complete creative control over your book.
You call all the shots – from writing to budget to cover design, illustrations, and distribution.
It’s a fantastic choice for authors who want to retain ownership of their work and enjoy higher royalties per sale.

Cons: The journey of self-publishing can be a bit overwhelming, requiring you to handle every aspect of the book production, marketing, and distribution.
The responsibility for editing, publishing, promoting, and reaching the right audience falls squarely on your shoulders but luckily there are professionals and courses out there that can help.

No matter the route you decide to go on, it’s important you are informed prior to entering any agreements.

Thinking of self publishing your own story?

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