Self Publishing Vs Traditional Publishing continues to be the biggest debate in the Indian literary scene. With Authors like Amish Tripathi and Savi Sharma, who rose to popularity by self-publishing their first book, the morals of self-published authors in India is at an all-time high.
Vanity publishers have opened new doors for aspiring writers; with packages starting as low as 5k, aspiring writers have a pool of options to choose from. Half Baked Beans, Notion Press, and Blue Rose Publishers are constantly launching 20-25 authors annually; most of them being first timers and self-published. While the fast-paced self-publishing option is being opted by many, the uniqueness of Traditional publishing is yet to fade.
Reasons why Traditional Publishing is still Gold!
Validation: Unlike Self-publishing, where you can find a publisher no matter whether your work is good or not, In traditional publishing, it is not impossible but really tough to get published when your work is utterly rubbish and you are a first-timer. Getting published through traditional methods will send out the word that your work is approved. The tag of being published by traditional publishers will put you ahead of the self-published authors and help you sell more books.
The fact that someone approves of your work and is willing to bet his or her money on it, proves that your work has some USP and has the requisite potential to be liked by the audience. Traditional publishers generally have an experienced team of Editors hence getting your work approved by them is certainly a good sign for your writing career.
In Traditional Publishing your work ends once you complete the book:
Traditional publishing leverages the authors with the power to sit back and relax for the time the book is edited, printed and distributed. Authors can rest and jump back into action as soon as the book hits the shelves and start with their monotony of book promotions. With traditional publishing authors also find access to book marketing ideas that actually work and can help them sell a million copies.
Publishers who seek entries from across the country and decides to publish only a few of them based on market research, quality content, selling potential and genre will make sure that your book is properly edited, formatted, designed and distributed to ensure that their investment brings in some sweet deals for them too, in the process the author will end up making some good amount of money as well.
Distribution: You can run effective and efficient Facebook ads about your book but it will never be as effective as spotting your book on a shelf in a bookstore. The fact that a traditionally published book reaches a shelf very easily whereas most of the self-published books never get to experience the SHELF-LIFE says about the two paradigms in volume.
Well, writing a book is certainly an artistic procedure but designing and distributing are a part of the business and no business personnel will dare to put their money in a product that will fail hence traditional publishing is still the best way for the authors to go ahead with.
Traditional Publishing brings in more Speaking Opportunities:
A lot of Ted-X organizers love to include authors in their speakers’ list; your chances of being one of those speaker increases if you have a traditionally published book in your satchel. The fact that self-publishing has made book publishing a fast and easy procedure, it has got difficult to separate amateurs and veterans. Anyone with a book published through traditional publishing can be assumed to be a thought leader because a full-fledged company has invested in his or her product.
With the increased speaking opportunities, the income of the author and sale of the book increases. In case you happen to be as good a speaker as you are a writer, you will not only sell a thousand more copies by speaking at these events but will also make a hundred thousand rupees extra.
You know getting your work selected for traditional publishing is like crossing multitude barriers in one jump. You are no more required to do the following:
- Tell people that your work is good- They already know that!
- Edit your work because professionals will make necessary changes and make it suitable for market
- You will not have to come up with an extraordinary cover idea; the marketers know the market better than you and me hence they will design a cover that will not just appeal but will also sale.
Traditional Publishing is very Cost Effective:
Well! A lot of first-timers decide to self-publish their books because they find the math to be easy 80% Royalty goes to them whereas in traditional publishing all they receive is a maximum of 20%.
First timers are unaware of the industry and hardly know what sells and what not hence they end up hiring book marketing firms only to spend more money on a bad product (often). Whereas with traditional publishers, authors do not have to spend any upfront amount, which can be used later for book marketing. With a book that is properly edited, formatted, designed and shelved, each and every book marketing idea will work and increase sale but with a book that is hardly edited or designed according to market trends, even the most effective book marketing paradigms will fail.
Free Publicity is always on the card: These publishing houses have established a relationship with bloggers, news agencies, press reporters and bookTubers and they are bound to write about every new book they publish. Traditional publishing not only opens new doors for your book but also for you. If you are someone who wants to take your Brand as an Author seriously, you should wait for getting traditionally published. Interviews and book reviews published in newspapers, popular blogs and on YouTube will help you with citation and brand building exercise.
Pro Tip: Use initially received reviews and feedback as a tool; promote these instead of promoting your book through Facebook and Instagram Ads and see people looking for your book on varied platforms. A well established or efficiently cited author is bound to receive recognition from the readers, who are constantly in search of quality content.
Well! This one advantage is seldom available for first-time authors but authors who grew popular by publishing their books by themselves can later get into traditional publishing deals and take home impressive cash advances. In a traditional publishing deal, the cash advance is a common procedure and there’s no irreversible contract on this deal. You get to keep the cash advance no matter how the book does.
Recently, Chetan Bhagat took home a huge amount by getting into six book deals with Amazon’s global publishing wing. The previous arrangement with Rupa publication was paying 13 crore INR, which pretty much says how much money a successful Indian author can make.
Writing becomes a Relaxed Procedure
When an author decides to self-publish book then he or she needs to get over the book first and then start with cover designing, ISBN allocation, book marketing campaigns and PR related activities but traditionally published authors can always take their time to write because their editorial team is already working on the Blurb, Book Cover, Social Media Buzz and other PR activities.
The fact that you have an enterprise that has promised you to pay Cash Advances, simplifies your life and allows you to take time and come up with a work that is actually not hurried and horrible.
Because Some Terribly Self-Published Books have Destroyed the Image
Yes! There are people who are actually obnoxious when it comes to books; for them, self-published are nothing but desperate attempt to get popular. Well! The reason is quite conspicuous, in recent past, a lot of self-published authors have published their books in a hurry and as they say “Good Marketing will only kill the Bad Product sooner”.
Poorly but well marketed self-published books have put actual readers off and not they are skeptical about spending their money on these vanity publishers.
You Won’t have to Start from Zero for your Second Book
When you go ahead with traditional publishing, you can actually rely on the work you did for the first book; you can count upon the same editorial team, marketing enterprises and paradigms for getting your new book in the market.
With self-publishing, you will again have to spend on editing, cover designing, promotions and PR separately. Basically, Traditional Publishing is the Jetpack that promises to carry forward all the benefits you incurred with your first book.
There are Real Contracts
When you get into real contracts with real enterprises; you get to experience and learn a lot of new things. Most of the self-published companies in India are not registered with the government, which stops them from getting your book distributed in bookstores across the country. Of course! There are self-publishing companies that are registered with the government; Notion Press and Half-Baked Beans are the few names you can always rely upon.
These Real Contracts protect you against all the malpractices of the business world; your book is merely a product for your publisher and distributor hence the chances of getting abused are very high. These real contracts will be the savior and will ensure your share of profit reaches to you in time when publishing your book the traditional way.
It is Easier to Evolve with Traditional Publishing
With all the technology, blockchain revolution, and government restrictions, the publishing industry is bound to evolve. When you self-publish your book, you are alone and responsible for adapting to all these changes but with an editorial team at your back, you can experience the paradigm shift quite easily.
Recent changes in Tax Regime in India put a lot of self-published authors and publishers into a tough situation (including Us). The increased taxes on selling through Amazon made a lot of Pocket Books priced at 99INR redundant. A well-experienced editorial and marketing team would have seen this coming and must have made requisite arrangements but since you will be all on your own, you will be miss it and face losses.
Adapting to the latest platforms like Juggernaut, Kindle Direct Publishing and Wattpad will be easy with a team that can change the format, makes changes to cover and design marketing strategies. Traditional Publishing will offer you these paradigm shifts for free but when you self-publish, you will have to pay for these separately.
The Hope of Making it Big Never Dies
You know, when you decide to self-publish your book, you can only expect results till the time you are putting in a lot of money in book marketing and social media campaigns when you stop putting money in, you start losing all the focus, the sales come down.
With no placement of books in bookstores through self-publishing, it becomes quite difficult for authors to make a name.
With traditional publishing, the hope of making it big never dies. Even a little effort from your side on social media will bring in buzzing results; you never know from which store a reader will grab a copy of your book, read it and leave a review on Amazon, making your book alive again. Traditional Publishing is more like putting small letters into a bottle and leaving them in a sea only to see them return when you expect it the least.
Traditional publishing will never let the hope die; it will ensure that you are recognized, taken seriously and counted among the good writers.