To self-publish or accept a publisher’s help?

I admit it, I am in a complete quandary this morning. I received what looks like a great offer from an international publisher yesterday. They would like to take over the publication of my new memoir of retirement. After a bit of research I can see both the advantages and disadvantages of going with this company.

Mike at home

I would LOVE to hand my manuscript over to someone else at this point. I admit it, I have been putting off self-publishing again. There are so many details I would have to re-learn to go through that process. Especially since my last concussion, my editing skills aren’t what they used to be, and I haven’t self-published in a few years so I would have to review all the procedures to do anything.

On the other hand, I might make more money if I did it myself, however I’m not even certain of that. This publisher offers quite a few nice “deliverables” in the areas of marketing and distribution.

Do you see my quandary now?

Do any of you have some good advice for me? I’d love to hear it!

Postscript: Thank you all for your great advice! I’m self-publishing again!

12 thoughts on “To self-publish or accept a publisher’s help?

  1. Is this a trad publisher who gives you a contract and takes over the publication? Or one that charges you? I’ve done both the self-published route and the trad route. Did much better with the publisher. But my sister did the Pay-to-have-someone-publish route and was very disappointed.


  2. Hi Laura Lee! I have had two different publishers publish two of my first books. And from my perspectives it continues to be both easier and more beneficial to do it myself. My first book was published by Findhorn Press in Scotland and quite well known in their genre. I thought I had it made. While they did help edit I had to fight for the cover I wanted and then once it was published they did little or no marketing. I made a little money but nothing too exciting. With my second book I went with a small press that told me they would help with marketing (not my strong suit) but in the end didn’t do ANYTHING! Also the editor was brutal and really took out my “voice”. Again, I made some money, more than the first but nothing to retire on 🙂 Finally with the last three books I published them myself both as ebooks and print through Amazon and I have been very happy. Yes, every time I do it I have to relearn how to do it–it take more time than I like and I have hired help when needed–but overall I am much happier self-publishing rather than going with a publisher. Of course we are all different but unless I have LOTS of promises in writing I will never use a traditional publisher again. ~Kathy


    • I know what you’re saying Kathy, but I feel certain that all publishers are not the same. This one has a great reputation and lots of testimonials on their site from “experts in their fields.” They sent me a list of 37 deliverables which include lots of marketing, distribution help and international exposure, etc. I guess I’m just tired…


  3. I have 2 co-authored books published with a traditional publisher, and 2 more books I want to have published with a traditional publisher. Most people that self-publish sell fewer than 100 books; that would be very disappointing to me. 5,000 books are published each day and it is hard to get noticed, no matter how we publish. So I am staying with traditional publishers.


  4. I wish I was up to speed about your decision. Fifteen years ago I was, but it was a different time and era. Think Kathy’s right about getting promises in writing from traditional publishers, especially about marketing and publicity. You can always find an English, Journalism or writing teacher to edit it for you, but if you can’t afford to publicize and market your book….


  5. I had a new friend offer to edit my new manuscript for me and another friend is already working on the cover, so I’ve decided to self-publish! I cannot stand the idea of not having complete control over the project. After all, it is about MY LIFE!


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