What is Self-Publishing?

The difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing

Self-publishing is the task of publishing a book without going through a publisher. The usual way a commercial book is published is through a book publisher. An author gives a publisher the rights to print, market, and sell the book. These prevent other publishers from printing the book and making money off of them.

A publisher assumes all the risks of publishing when it spends for everything it takes to print, market, and get the book to readers. In exchange for this risk, the publisher may take control of the price and distribution of the book so it can earn. This is but natural because the publisher is taking all the risks and therefore needs this authority so it can make money on its investment. The author may be under contract to do book launches, promotional talks, travel, etc. to market the book. In this traditional set-up, the author earns through royalties that the publisher remits to the author periodically.

For more popular authors, a publisher may advance the royalties or pay for the expenses of the author as he or she writes the book.

In self-publishing, an author spends for everything that a traditional publisher would. The compensation for assuming all the costs and risks are higher returns, more control, and quicker publication.

For a more visual way of understanding these, here are the pros and cons of each track:

Publisher Track

Self-Publishing Track


  • You don't spend on anything
  • The publisher assumes all the risks
  • Editing, cover design, and proofreading are included
  • Can easily get books into bookstores
  • Wider distribution reach
  • ISBN, barcode, and copyright is included


  • An author can get a book published in about a month or two
  • The author can shop around for different self-publishing services and compare prices and options
  • Control of the cover and interior design
  • Higher earnings


  • The publication process is long (sometimes a year)
  • Not easy to find a publisher willing to risk taking your book
  • May take creative control
  • May take marketing control that requires your time
  • An author earns in royalties that can come in periodic tranches


  • The author assumes all the costs and risks
  • Hassle of finding a book cover designer, editor, proofreader, and printer.
  • The author has to market and distribute the book
  • Might be difficult to get it into bookstore shelves
  • Limited reach; expensive to distribute overseas
  • You need to apply for an ISBN and copyright. If you want to sell your book in bookstores, you need to apply for a barcode

Get free consultation by contacting us now.

It's a no-commitment and risk-free step towards self-publishing your new book.

SimplePublish here to help you

SimplePublish here to help you

Our main goal at SimplePublish is to help writers turn into authors by offering an affordable way of self-publishing. We have gone through the hurdles of understanding what it is to self-publish, and that helps us understand what you can be going through. We try to shortcut the learning process by guiding you in the right direction.

If you allow us, we will help you from start to finish so that the book that you want to publish turns from a dream into a reality.