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In the past, the only way for an author to get a book published and bring their literary creations to life was through a traditional publishing company such as Pressman House. However, because they don’t charge for doing the work and recover their costs by subsequent sales, new and unknown authors found it almost impossible to get them interested. With modern technology, the rise of self-publishing has introduced an alternative avenue that provides authors with the opportunity to get their work in front of readers while also giving them greater control and autonomy. Each avenue has its own set of advantages and considerations, offering authors the opportunity to choose the path that best aligns with their goals and aspirations. In this article, we delve into the differences between traditional publishing and self-publishing, focusing on the unique characteristics of each path.


Traditional Publishing: The Time-Honoured Route

Traditional publishing involves collaborating with an established publishing house to bring a manuscript to market. This route offers several benefits:

  1. The main significant benefit is the work is carried out free of charge.
  2. Editorial Expertise: Traditional publishers have a team of experienced editors who work closely with authors to refine and polish their manuscripts. This ensures a high standard of writing and storytelling.
  3. Distribution and Exposure: Established publishers have wide-reaching distribution networks that can get books into bookstores, libraries, and online marketplaces. This can lead to higher visibility and increased sales potential.
  4. Validation and Prestige: Being accepted by a traditional publisher is often seen as a stamp of approval, lending credibility and prestige to an author’s work.
  5. Marketing Support: Traditional publishers invest in marketing and promotional efforts, potentially securing media coverage, book tours, and other promotional opportunities.



The Downside

  1. In order to do this, the sales have got to be guaranteed if the publisher is not going to make a loss. It is for this reason that traditional publishers focus their attention on established authors, celebrities, etc.
  2. Traditional publishers generally work through agents and don’t take manuscripts direct.
  3. The above makes it very difficult to get a traditional publishing house to publish the work of a new and unknown author.



self-publishing vs traditional publishing


Self-Publishing: Empowering Authors

In contrast to traditional publishing, self-publishing offers new and upcoming authors with an opportunity to establish themselves as writers. The author can have greater control over the publishing process, from content creation to design and distribution.

Pressman House is a traditional publisher with a sister company, ShieldCrest Publishing, which offers self-publishing services to new authors.  Authors working with ShieldCrest can maintain creative autonomy while availing themselves of professional services and resources within Pressman House.


However, self-publishing comes with challenges:

  1. Quality Concerns: Without the editorial expertise of a traditional publisher, self-published works may suffer from issues related to writing quality, grammar, and formatting.
  2. Marketing and Visibility: The most successful authors are committed to helping market their books, which can be time-consuming and require a steep learning curve.
  3. Stigma: Despite advancements, self-published works may still carry a stigma of being of lower quality compared to traditionally published books. Some people still refer to it as vanity publishing. However, because many authors who started by self-publishing went on the success, this is rarely used today.
  4. Distribution Hurdles: Due to the author being new and unknown, getting self-published books into physical stores and libraries can be challenging, limiting the reach of the book.


Choosing the Right Path

The decision between traditional publishing and self-publishing ultimately hinges on an author’s priorities, preferences, and long-term goals and, importantly, if they are able to get a traditional publisher interested. While traditional publishing offers the support of an experienced team and the prestige of an established brand, self-publishing provides unparalleled creative control and a faster route to publication. Authors must weigh these factors against their individual needs to determine the approach that resonates most strongly with them.



The decision to pursue traditional publishing or self-publishing depends on an author’s goals, preferences, and the nature of their work. Ultimately, an author can choose whether to continue trying to get accepted by a traditional publisher or get their work known in the market first.  By choosing the latter, it allows time for an author to refine their writing skills while providing the autonomy of self-publishing.  However, the paramount goal remains the same: to share stories that resonate with readers and leave an indelible mark on the literary landscape.

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