You often hear the question, when should you self-publish? Now though self-publishing is such a norm that the real question should be when should you go with a traditional publisher?
I attempt to answer that question today. For me there are still several valid reasons to go with a traditional publisher.
You really have no money or access to money to pay for services such as editing or cover design and have no following to ask for money from crowd-funding
Traditional publishers do not ask for cash from the author, so this may be the best route to get your work published. However you might want to consider starting off with shorter eBooks if you have enough cash for that. If you already have a following from social media, a blog or a podcast you might want to consider going down the crowdfunding route instead.
You are desperate to get your book stocked in book stores.
This is where historically traditional publishers excel – they have the large distribution agreements and clout to get your book into a book store. They have teams who are used to selling books to bookstore chains. As an independent author you will have to do this selling yourself. The world of discounts and distribution is quite complicated and it is very easy to get wrong.
As a form of social proof
This is still undeniable – people are impressed by people who have been published by a large traditional publisher they have heard of. However this doesn’t really work as well with smaller presses, unless they have a good reputation in the subject area your book is about.
You really want to do no marketing at all
This is often a reason given for going with a traditional book deal, though I wouldn’t necessarily tell the publisher this. They will want you to make the effort to do some marketing. But if you really don’t want to do any marketing at all then going the traditional route is a much better idea. It is probably the case someone at the company will be doing some marketing. It won’t necessarily though mean your book will succeed. The publishers are generally experienced in marketing to book stores and not consumers. They will get into book stores but then it won’t necessarily get anyone to buy the book in the book stores.
You hate self-publishing
Some people do, and to them they only consider the traditional route. I think they are missing out, but hey ho, each to their own.