Creating a safer world for all children

Indie, Traditional publishing and the one in the middle

If you are considering writing a book and not sure which path to take, you are not alone. Welcome to the new era of publishing.

Indie (Independent) Best Selling authors don’t need the muscle of a traditional publisher if they have found their niche and have an entrepreneurial edge.

If you just want to write, then write and submit your manuscript to a literary agent. It’s their job to seal the book deal with a traditional publisher.

If you have the budget, you may want to choose to co-publish and let a professional team do all the work.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences in the publishing world:

Traditional Publishing Companies:

  • The author wants a book deal. They submit (if permitted) their completed manuscript to a publishing house or seek an agent to do this on their behalf.
  • If accepted, the house owns the rights to the book. The house usually pays the author an advance on future royalties.
  • The process can be a slow and royalties rates low.
  • Little to no creative control.
  • The author pays no money to the publisher, the house pays for everything.  If a publishing company asks for money, it’s NOT a traditional publishing company.
  • Always have someone check out the contract. Look for clauses where the publishing company wants rights and negotiate.

Indie (Independent Authors)/ Self-Publishing:

  • The author is the creator and has complete control over everything (Do It Yourself).
  • Hires professionals to work with them through the process.
  • The author can learn all aspects of the publishing industry.
  • Faster turn around time to publish books.
  • Choose formats (paperback,ebook, audio).
  • The author pays for everything.
  • Retain all the rights and receive higher royalties.
  • It’s hard work, and yet empowering.

Middle Man:

  • Often called Hybrid or co-publishing. The author pays to get published.
  • Pays for the expertise of the publishing business.
  • Authors make more than traditional publishing but less self-publishing.
  • Some have a submission process – co-publishers choose the authors they wish to work with.
  • It’s like a partnership where authors can maintain creative control.
  • Traditional companies are moving into this publishing space. Always do your due diligence and check out if they have a solid track record when working with authors.
  • Some offer good deals, others will take your money and run.
  • Shop around and compare prices and contractual agreements.

If you are writing or have written a book or just have an idea that’s motivating you to write, it’s the start that counts. J.K Rowlings had an idea and just started writing.  I doubt she did very little due diligence. It was the thrilling adventure of writing the untold story of an orphaned boy that motivated her to write. Her book was rejected 12 times by publishers. I wonder how those publishers feel now.

Write your untold story. It’s an empowering decision and choose your path wisely.


Christine is based on the sunny coast of Western Australia in the seaside town of Geraldton.