An author fortunate enough to have a book acquired and published by a large traditional publisher will usually be required to sign an agreement that gives the publisher final say over a wide variety of issues include title, format, cover design, word count, price, release date, marketing, sales, distribution, etc.

series title of Traditional Versus Self-PublishingDifferences of opinion between an author (or their agent) and their publisher are not uncommon, and both parties are well-served if they have negotiated a detailed written agreement that dictates the resolution of those disagreements so as to avoid prolonged legal battles (and legal expenses).

The team at the large traditional publisher that works on the author’s book usually consists of highly qualified and experienced veterans who have worked on hundreds of books including some of the bestsellers. They have seen what works and doesn’t work and use that experience and knowledge to try to maximize the sales of each book assigned to them.

A self-published author retains control over every aspect of their book rather than turning over responsibility to a group of strangers who cannot understand the book as well as the author. Rather than rely on the expertise that a publisher’s team can provide in each phase of the process, the indie author builds their own team based on their connections and budget. Many of the freelancers available worked at some point for a large traditional publisher, and some of them still do freelance work for traditional publishers.

Hybrid publishers (such as the ones I manage) can help an author avoid having to start from scratch in building a team to publish their book. While the author retains creative control when working with a hybrid publisher, they have the opportunity to utilize the services of experienced editors, designers, etc.

Creative control can allow the author to make their vision for their book a reality, but it also can limit the sales of some books if the author’s vision does not align with the wants and needs of the market.

How important is it to you to be able to control each aspect of the publishing process for your book?

Do you have any questions or concerns? Shoot me a message via the About/Contact page and I’ll do my best to help.


The previous post in this series looks at the different levels of book sales and distribution offered by various publishing options. The next post discusses the necessity of communicating and relating directly with readers and compares the advantages of an author establishing those connections versus utilizing the connections a traditional publisher can provide.