Traditional Publishing. The Good, Bad and Ugly


The rise of technology and the internet has provided aspiring writers, with new options to share their work with the world. Still, most new writers prefer traditional publishing to establish themselves as professional writers. There are several advantages of being published by a well-known publishing house, but at the same time, traditional publishing has a lot of disadvantages too. Let’s get into the Good, Bad, and Ugly sides of traditional publishing.

Advantages of Traditional Publishing

Generally, literary agents of the writers just take their manuscript to different publishing houses, but once a writer gets published traditionally, his agent does all kinds of stuff for him. He negotiates with the publishing house and takes care of all the financial matters from royalty rates to cash advances. He keeps the writer updated with all the happenings in the market and gives him the right advice to achieve success.

Another added perk of being a traditionally published writer is that you are assigned a professional team of editors, cover designers, formatters, proofreaders, and many others to work on your book, without spending any money. On the other hand, the writer is likely to get some advance payment, regardless of the performance of the book. For new writers, advance money generally falls in the range of $2000-$15000. The reach and visibility of a traditionally published book are more than any other book. It gives traditionally published writers more chances to grow and achieve success. They also get more time to concentrate on their writing as the publishing house takes care of most of the other things. Also, traditionally published books are more likely to win awards and prizes, become bestsellers, and get better reviews.

Disadvantages of Traditional Publishing

Royalty rates are meager when it comes to traditional publishing. Generally, a new writer gets around 10% royalty of the book, and even his agent would make more money than him on his book. The writer only starts to get royalty once the advance given to him is recovered. The paydays are also very infrequent, and most publishing houses pay their writers once in every six months. Creative control is another area of concern for traditionally published writers. On any kind of creative disagreement, the publishing house takes the final decision. Time is also a big issue when it comes to traditional publishing, and it can take a book around two years to arrive in bookstores from the day of signing the contract. Getting a deal is a humongous task in the publishing industry. It can take years for a writer to find the publisher to publish his book.

Even though the agents take care of the contracts and legal stuff, it can be very confusing and disturbing for new writers, as the deals are very complicated. The publishing industry is very turbulent; people come and go at different positions, which can affect the process of the book and the career of the writer in a terrible way.