Traditional publishing or self publishing, a writers choice

I’m currently knee deep in my second draft. I kid you not, if I hadn’t had the luxury of being “coached” by some great people and books, this would have been a painful experience.

The most helpful advice came by way of making connections on Twitter. I created my Twitter account, @ineslozanolit, as a way of developing my platform but also to connect with others in the literary field. My decision to join Twitter shifted what occasionally felt like a pipe dream, into a true possibility.

I linked up with several experienced and knowledgeable people in the writing industry that have been incredible and forthcoming with advice. Even more importantly, with encouragement.

Via Twitter is where I learned about copyediting – thanks to two professionals in the business – @CaryPlocher and @PopeEditing. When I complete the third draft, the polishing draft, copyediting will be my next step.

Some helpful links on the copyediting process: The Creative PennTraditional Publishing vs self publishingNY Book Editors.

Twitter is also where I came across a forum where writers ‘get together’ to share their knowledge and experiences about the writing life (#storysocial). I’m new to the group but it has already proven itself to be invaluable.

Scrolling through Twitter is part of my daily agenda. I want to read about other people, share what I learn, and pick up on important details about the writing life. Such as traditional publishing vs self publishing. Two very different publishing styles, but both can serve writers immensely. (After reading On Writing by Stephen King, I am looking at every adverb that I write with a squinted side eye)

There is a lot of information on the ins and outs of both publishing methods. Here are some basics that I learned about:

Traditional Publishing

  • Your completed manuscript gets sent out to agents/publishers and you await a response.
  • Should you get an offer, generally much of the control of the product is handed over to them.
  • You have to be extremely careful about the contract, and what rights you are authorizing to them.

Self Publishing

  • It’s all in your hands. You handle all aspects from development to publishing to marketing. You can hire professionals to help with editing, design, and other areas, but at the end of the day it’s all on you.
  • This may be a method that makes you come out of pocket before seeing any income but the publishing process is much quicker than that of the traditional way. Aquiring income could be a reality in a much shorter time frame.

Considering all of the information I have gathered on both methods, I may try to dabble in both. Traditional publishing will be my first and main focus in getting my work out into the world, but many of the sites that I have read also recommended saving some rights for yourself to independently  publish. Or use one method for one project and the other method for other projects.

After getting a comprehensive edit on my final manuscript, I will venture down the trade publishing path by sending it off to literary agents and begin the wait.

I am wholly serious about being a writer. It’s a passion that I have always had. I am proud of myself for opening up about my dream and taking a chance.

For more in depth info on these two areas and related topics, read the following sites that I read: Writers DigestForbes articleThe Creative Penn.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Louann Pope says:

    Thanks so much for the shout out! Just a couple quick points. First, I assume that you’re planning to use beta readers between your second draft and your third draft. Second, my understanding is that even in traditional publishing the author is responsible for the lion’s share of the marketing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for this! Yes I’m planning on using beta readers, wasn’t going to until I started reading On Writing. Just actually got to the chapter on beta readers. And thanks for the tip on marketing.


      1. Louann Pope says:

        I recommend that you look at both what Stuart Horwitz says about beta readers in his book Finish Your Book in Three Drafts and Jen Anderson’s article “The Importance and Limitations of Beta Readers” (


      2. Great! I have Stuart Horwitz book, I wasn’t convinced to try beta readers because I was still nervous at that time about letting others see my work. But that was just when I had finished my first draft and thought it was a disaster. Then when I read On Writing I remembered Horwitz talking about beta readers. The combination of both books telling me that it’s ok, and normal to have a messy draft made me gain confidence. I will have my husband test the book as one of my beta readers. I will also check out the link you sent me here. Thanks again!


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