Self publishing and traditional publishing are two equal business paths, each with different goals and responsibilities, neither is a compromise.

My thoughts today were initially sparked by a post on Twitter by a user named Tiffany Kaye who said: “Just self publish” is not helpful advice to struggling querying authors. Going indie is a HUGE commitment that takes a ton of hard work, research, and perseverance if you want to be successful—and it’s not for everyone. Both paths are valid, and neither is a consolation prize.”

My response to her was: “So true! Two separate paths, two separate business plans, two different sets of goals. Rather like telling the owner of a brick & mortar business – “just become an online business.”

Let’s begin by reiterating the point that self publishing and traditionally publishing your book are two separate business models for us as authors. There will be crossover, in some of our roles and responsibilities, but the step-by-step business plans and big picture goals will differ.

Notice the language I’m using – businesses, business models, and business plans. As an author publishing a book, whether through traditional channels or on your own, you are making a business decision because you and your book are the product. Neither one is superior to the other, and neither is a “consolation prize” in some invisible hierarchy, again referring to my analogy of a  brick and mortar business versus a virtual one.

Traditional publishing means you partner with an investor – but you’re still the CEO of your book, with all the responsibilities that come with it. Ask any traditionally published author how much they get to sit back on their laurels and have everything done “for them.”

Self publishing means you consciously choose not to partner with an investor – and you’re still the CEO of your book, with all the responsibilities that come with it.

Both are equally valid business decisions, but I’m not sure that the public narratives around traditional versus self publishing have caught up to this thinking yet. Imagine telling a CEO who chooses not to bring on investors that their business is somehow “lesser” than one who DOES bring on investors.

Being an author is being in business for yourself – whether solo or in partnership with a third party.

Therefore, when making your publishing path decision, make an informed, intentional choice as to how you would like to run your business as an author. Get the facts, ignore the misinformed, antiquated chatter, and get whatever help and resources you need, no matter which business path you elect to go down. And I don’t know about you, but I’m supremely grateful for having these choices about how we each wish to run our business of being an author!

PS: Questions, requests, in need of publishing resources? Shoot me an email! 


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