Many traditional publishers have been in business for decades and have policies and audit procedures in place that eliminate most opportunities for errors ranging from minor spelling mistakes to costly legal issues such as defamation, invasion of privacy, or failing to acquire permissions.

series title of Traditional Versus Self-Publishing

In addition, the mere fact that a traditional publisher has chosen to publish a book helps establish that the book is being published “in the public interest” which is very important if any claims of invasion of privacy arise.

Understanding and taking legal nuances into account can be difficult. As the publisher, a self-published author is legally responsible for every aspect of the book. Working with an established self-publishing services company such as the one I manage, WestBow Press, allows you to benefit from their expertise and established procedures.

An author who DIY self-publishes by working with several freelancers may encounter individuals who are less than competent and/or ethical. Publishing a book is a business transaction that needs to be handled professionally regardless of whether you are traditionally published or self-publish.

Do you understand the legal issues involved in publishing so that you know how to avoid costly claims? Are you ready, willing, and able to manage the people who will be helping you with each aspect of your book, or would you be better off working with a self-publishing services company?

This is the last post in this series comparing and contrasting traditional and self-publishing.

Now that you’ve considered each of the issues raised, hopefully you have gained a sense of whether you should consider pursuing having your book traditionally published or self-publish it either primarily by yourself (DIY) or with some assistance from a company such as WestBow.

If you do not have any desire to retain control over the various aspects of publishing your book and you really want to have somebody else handle most of the work and issues involved then you may be better served by trying to obtain the services of an agent to pursue traditional publishing before you consider self-publishing. While very few authors are able to make their way past the various gatekeepers, the benefits of being traditionally published are substantial. If you are not able to make sufficient progress in a few months, then you can always consider self-publishing. Successfully self-publishing can catapult your book past the gatekeepers and lead to offers to be traditionally published.

If you thoroughly understand the various issues and processes involved and want to be responsible for every aspect of your book then you may have what it takes to operate like a general contractor to DIY self-publish your book.

If you’ve struggled to hire an agent to try to be traditionally published or you’ve decided to self-publish for any other reason and you just want some help from experienced professionals to make sure each of the aspects involved is handled well then you may want to discuss your book with a consultant at WestBow to find out how we can help you publish your book. We can be reached at 866-928-1240.

Please click this Comment link to join the conversation about this topic on the WestBow Facebook Page and let me know what you think, ask any questions you might have, and suggest ways we can help you on your journey as an author.


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This is the final post in this series. The previous post points out the expertise needed to publish a book and compares DIY and assisted self-publishing with traditional publishing.