Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Self Publish or Traditional?

Do you want to get your book published but aren’t sure how? Are you confused with the difference between publishing with a company or self-publishing? I can offer some advice.

I have seven published books: one novel, two children’s chapter books, and four children’s picture books.I self published all but one.

I did have one of my children’s picture books published by a self-publishing company called Two Girls and a Reading Corner. At the time, I wanted the book published before Christmas and I didn’t have the time to search for an illustrator, format the book and go through the self-publishing steps. Mandy was great – and she’s honest – and it was a load off of my shoulders to have her do that. I will be having Two Girls and a Reading Corner publish a few more of my children’s books in the future, as I want to concentrate on my own business and my writing.

The reasons I choose self-publishing over traditional publishing are as follows:
1. More royalties by self-publishing
2. Complete control over your own work
3. Control over marketing

I’m not saying publishing companies are bad. Heck, I’d love to get some novels published by big companies due to the fact that my editing business is growing and I’d rather concentrate more on that and writing than the work it takes to self-publish and market my work. However, I am a big advocator for self-publishing.

Is self-publishing right for you?
Well…ask yourself these questions:

1. Are you able to format your own book OR can you afford a book formatting specialist?

2. Are you willing to do the work to go through the publishing steps OR hire a consultant to help?

3. Do you have the know-how and the time to market your work?

If you can answer “yes” to those questions, I would go the self-publishing route. However, if you say “no” because you’re not able NOR do you think you can afford services to assist you, do some research and get quotes first. I offer editing, proofreading, self-publishing consulting and book formatting services at very good rates and maybe there are others who have good rates as well. Self-publishing doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes, it costs more to go through a publishing company so BE CAREFUL and do extensive research (read their contracts, etc.) before choosing a publishing company. Many times, companies want a very large payment to do this work for you AND they take a good chunk of your royalties, so it’s not worth it.

Also, it’s always important to market your work even before it’s published. You want to get your readers excited before the book is even available! I’m lucky to have an amazing marketing assistant, Tina Sanders (also blogger at Read N' Reviews). She knows how to create fun posts with blurbs that cause people to want to check out your business or read your books!

Whether you self-publish or go through a publishing agency, the most important thing to do is have fun! Enjoy writing and the going through the marketing process. Join Facebook author/illustrator groups and meet other artists! Good luck!!

If you'd like to see books I have self-published, visit my website at http://melanielopata.weebly.com/


  1. Great advice! I always wondered how to self publish. And what the difference was.

  2. Awwww, thank you so much! I'm honored to have been able to support you from the beginning.