Self-publishing – Everything you need to know

Publishing for beginners


Some people are born writers and they know from a very young age that they want to write. Others have a story inside them that is burning to be told and they learn to write as they go. In the end both types of writers get their words onto paper. Once your story is jotted down you need to start considering the publishing options and this is where self-publishing comes in.


What it is self-publishing?

First of all, let’s get all of the definitions out of the way!

Self-publishing is when the author uses a number of paid service providers to help them through the entire publishing process. This process includes editing, proofreading, layout, cover design, printing and marketing. The author keeps the publishing rights of their book and thus keeps all of the profit from the sales of the book.

Traditional publishing is when an author submits their manuscript to a publishing house for consideration. If the publishing house sees that the manuscript is well written, the story is engaging, and that there is market potential for the book they will sign a publishing contract with the author. This means that the author signs over their publishing rights to the publishing house for a certain percentage of royalties with every book sold. In the end the publishing house then decides on what the cover should look like, how the layout is done, and how the book is marketed.

Traditional publishing vs Self-publishing

The choice between traditional publishing and self-publishing isn’t about which is better. It’s more a case of which one is better for you. In order to find out which route is better for you consider the pros and cons for each below, weigh them up carefully and then make your choice. Keep in mind that there isn’t a right or a wrong choice, it’s all about you and your manuscript.

                                          Traditional Publishing



It’s cheaper. Publishing house retains the copyright.
Distribution will be done by the publishing house. The publishing house has creative control.
Gives the author more authority and credibility. Marketing will be subject to the publishing house’s discretion.
The publishing house provides you with expert editors, designers, illustrators, proof-readers and printers. They receive thousands of submissions a year and they may only choose 1 for publication.
You may need an agent to approach the publishing house on your behalf.
It takes anything from 18 months to 2 years to get your book published.
You only receive a small percentage in royalties of the selling price.





The author retains copyrights. You will be responsible for the distribution of your book.
As the author, you have creative control. It’s expensive because you need to pay the service providers, like editors and designers, for the work that they do.
You can market your own book in your own way. You have to be involved in every aspect of the publishing process as well as the marketing of your book.
As the project manager you are in charge of the timeline for the publication of your book. This means that you can have a published book in as little as 6 months. It is your responsibility to find expert editors, designers, illustrators, proof readers and printers. Therefore, you will have to make sure that your books is professionally published.
You keep the profit on the sales of your book.

Your goals

If you are still unsure after reading the pros and cons above you may have to sit down and think about your goals. Ask yourself the following questions; What do you want to achieve as an author? Who is the audience that you want to reach? How are you going to reach them? What is the next step after getting your book published? What is your timeline? Do you have a budget?

The answers to all of these questions will give you an idea of where you are headed and which path will be the best for you. If you decide to go the traditional publishing route remember that it does not mean that you have to discard the self-publishing route. If you are rejected by a publishing house you can always get your book published and get your name out there through the self-publishing industry.

How Nuance can help you

Nuance provides authors, who want to self-publish, with a one stop shop when it comes to everything in the publishing process. We have a wide network of professional editors, designers, illustrators, proof readers and printers who assist us in producing a book of the highest quality! But our service offering doesn’t end there, we can help you create your unique author brand as well as set out a content marketing strategy to help you get your book to the right audience.

Contact us today! 

Contact us for a free manuscript assessment and a comprehensive quote! We want to help you make your publishing dream a reality.


Written by Nadja

I am a writer and editor with a passion for education and children's literature.

Apr 30, 2021

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