Self-publish or go with an traditional publisher? Reasons for doing both

June 3, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: Home, self publishing.

Good reasons abound for authors who want to self-publish.

But there are also good reasons for authors who have a traditional publisher to stick with that publisher.

Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest have surveyed hybrid authors (those who have done both) to see which they do and which they prefer. The preliminary report can be found at this link.

What about the next book? According to the report:

The First Amendment, one of the books in the Tennessee Journalism Series

For authors who would prefer to self-publish their next book, the top three reasons why are:

1. Amount of creative control retained (three-quarters)
2. Amount of money that can be made (nearly 60%)
3. Ease with which the publishing process is completed (about a third)

For authors who would prefer to publish their next book with a traditional publisher, the top three reasons why are:

1. Reach of distribution (about 60%)
2. Amount of help received along the way (about half)
3. Prestige of being published by a traditional publisher (nearly half)

As a hybrid author, I find all of these reasons make sense. Writing for the Mass Media has been in print with Prentice Hall and then Allyn and Bacon for nearly 30 years. I could not begin to provide the support (marketing, distribution, etc.) for that book that these large textbook companies can offer. In addition, I value the relationship that I have developed with the people in these companies.

Still, when we started the Tennessee Journalism Series, self publishing made a lot of sense. Traditional textbook publisher including Allyn and Bacon were not ready to take on a multimedia project such as we had in mind, and we needed to move ahead with some speed.

So, I find these reasons cited for going either way to line up with my own.

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