The Two Paths Of Book Publishing [Infographic]

book publishing paths

What’s the best way to describe the today’s book publishing process?

It’s a journey!

Our BookBaby publishing specialists talk to authors all day long about their own publishing quests. Some are long and winding roads. Some are short and direct. Every author has his own unique route to putting a manuscript into the marketplace.

But all roads almost inevitably lead to a major decision. It’s actually more like a “T” in the road and is one of the most important points of interest in this sojourn.

1. Do you try to get published the traditional route?


2. Do you strike it out on your own through self publishing?

There is no right or wrong answer. It’s a personal choice based on many factors. To illustrate the various pros and cons, we’ve put together this handy infographic that depicts the two main publishing pathways.

Good luck on your odyssey!

book publishing infographic

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  1. Actually, “get agent” has only been part of the “traditional” publishing process for about 70 years or so. And while it may be necessary in some genres, for most, it’s entirely possible to skip the “get agent” stage and go right to the publisher. Likewise, self-editing and self-cover design may not be doable for everyone, but it doesn’t take a degree in graphic design to put cover art together. Especially since most POD presses offer templates, tutorials, and/or cover services (which would mean “design cover” would come AFTER “find self-publisher.”

  2. I think this is a good infographic, but I’m not sure I agree with a few aspects. For both self and traditional publishing, PR by the author is required. And I understand that a traditional publisher might sign a book deal for a self-published book only when there is a large current and potential market for the book.

  3. You did not mention (clearly) you can sell fewer books with self-publishing to equal the same amount of royals you get with the old fashion system. From what I read, the publishers may not always promote your book as well as you think if you not one of their top authors.

    I’m glad you mention that self-publisher get total creative control. That one of the reasons I like that system. Yes, there are still up-front cost, but it is easier to get funding for your book from funding sites.

    Either way, most authors will still be responsible for getting the word out about their books. And many of the services you get from a publisher you can still outsourced, which is mention in other articles. (I believe)

    However, maybe for some people, the old fashion way works better for them. Maybe?


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