How to Publish a Book: The Drawbacks of Traditional Publishing for Publishing my Theology Book

Experts in the publishing industry estimate that there’s a publishing crash on the way as early as 2020. More magazines have closed in the past five years than ever before, and even many leading publishing houses and magazines are struggling to keep up with a fast-changing world. 

This is a disaster if you have most of your works in circulation through traditional publishing, but there are many experts who also believe that this can make the self publishing industry boom while the rest of the publishing industry declines. 

Are you a traditionally published author who is worried about how the crash can affect you, or are you a new author who hasn’t published before worried about the same thing? 

Now is the best time to switch to self publishing your work – yes, even if you have been traditionally published before. 

Here’s more about some of the main drawbacks of being a traditionally published author, and how self publishing your work can save you from the coming predicted market crash.

Traditional Publishing Houses Are Ruled by Politics

A lot of different factors are at play when a publishing house decides whether or not they intend to publish a book. Some of these factors have to do with the current publishing market and what readers want to see, but a lot of the other factors are investor information and politics that has nothing to do with the writer, but can mean manuscript rejection after rejection – even when you have a stellar, flawless manuscript to offer. 

Self publishing your work frees you from internal investor politics and opens up the world of having control over your work and how or when it gets published. 

Traditional Publishing Cuts Out the Author

Traditional publishing contracts give authors one of two options. Either you get an advance and royalties, or royalties – and once you’ve signed your work up to either of these, the book is basically out of your hands and surrendered to your publisher. What they do with the book and its promotion from there is what they decide is best. 

Self publishing your work means that you will remain in control of factors like when your book is promoted, when and how it gets released and what’s on the cover. 

Traditional Publishing Doesn’t Pay Great Royalties

Royalties on your work sounds great, doesn’t it? But royalties through a traditional publisher isn’t as great or as profitable as you might think.

Royalties on new work can pay great for the first few weeks when the book achieves its height of  popularity. But when the initial release run is finished, royalties decline as sales do – and publishers usually won’t do anything useful to push your book’s promotion after this point.

Self publishing gives you instant access to your royalties, and as a self published writer, you’ll earn a much bigger cut. 

Traditional Publishing Comes with Obligation

If you’re publishing your work with a traditional publishing contract, you will be contracted to this publisher for this book – but sometimes, an advance requires writing more than one book. Sometimes book contracts will require you to do other things, like compulsory promotion. If you’re wondering how to get a book published, the sheer bureaucracy can drive you sane.

Not happy with anything that your publisher included in your contract? Sure, there are legal ways to fight it, but expert attorneys are expensive – and you’re often still stuck once you’ve signed. 

Traditional publishing can be associated with a lot of obligation. Self published authors are luckier, and get to skip the process of a publisher that tells you what you can and can’t do. There’s no obligation, and you can publish what you’d like when you’re ready to.