Be forewarned, I may use the word “may” a lot in this post. Maybe.
I say that because the thoughts I share here will address the broader public, and not the exceptional outlier who defies the norm.
That said, here are the benefits of self publishing as I see it. Note: Feel free to disagree, but be polite. My intent is not to incite a riot.
Self Publishing Benefits:
- May speed up delivery to market by removal of traditional gatekeepers
- May allow greater freedom and creative control
- May result in greater remuneration
- May grant you a sense of accomplishment for actually taking your project to completion
Self Publishing Drawbacks:
- May speed up delivery of a piece of crap to the market
- May make you delirious with entitlement and turn you into a prima donna control freak. After all, absolute power corrupts absolutely
- May require you to do a lot of marketing and self-promotion
These lists are in no way conclusive. But the point is that there are some very real benefits and drawbacks to self publishing but there are also similar issues working through a traditional publisher. Here are some:
Traditional Publishing Benefits:
- May result in a finer finished product, working with editors, etc
- May offer channels for reaching a wider consumer base
- May provide emotional relief from self-promotion, selling, and deal-making
Traditional Publishing Drawbacks:
- May cost you a lot of potential income
- May slow down delivery to market
- May cost you creative control
In the end, every writer needs to weighs the pros and cons of both paths and choose which option best suits their immediate and long-term goals, as well as their work style and emotional tolerances.
It may be that self publishing is your best route. Or traditional publishing may serve you better.