If you self-publish your book, you can still get a traditional publishing contract. In fact, self-publishing can help you get a traditional publishing contract because traditional publishers are looking for a return on their investment. They don’t care whether you self-published or not, just if you were successful and had good sales.
Yes, you can self-publish and traditionally publish at the same time.
There are many reasons an author will self publish a book AND publish with traditional publishers.
1. An Author writes in different genres. If an author writes in different genres, one publisher may not want to publish every book they write. A publisher decides on each book an author presents to them. If a book is rejected, the author can choose to shop the book with another publisher or self publish their story themselves.
2. An Author wants to publish their backlist. A backlist is a list of older books available from a publisher, as opposed to titles newly published. Having a backlist available allows readers who may have missed the book the first time around to have a chance to read it, and it also gives the author another stream of income. Before, POD (Print on Demand) books went out of print and were no longer available for readers to buy because the title may not have sold well.
3. An author self-published then found a traditional publisher. Literary agents and publishers check the best-seller lists for new authors. If you sell a lot of books and end up on best-seller lists for your self-published book, literary agents and publishers may contact you, so they can sign you.
4. They couldn’t find a publisher to buy their book. Traditional publishers have guiding principles about the kind and types of books they will publish. If an author goes against those guiding principles, a publisher will not publish your book. If you cannot find a publisher for your book, but know it’s worth it to publish your book, you should self publish it.
Can A Traditional Publisher stop you from self publishing your book?
Yes, if the contract you signed states that you have to write only for them. Otherwise, publishers may but in a “Right Of First Refusal” clause where the publisher is given the chance to look over the manuscript and either accept or reject it. If they reject it, the author can either try to sell the manuscript to another publisher or self-publish.
Some publishers forbid their contracted authors from publishing through other publishers in order to protect their own books. This is done by including non-compete clauses in the contract.
They key is to read your publishing contract to figure out your options.
Will self publishing my book prevent me from getting a traditional publishing contract?
Self publishing a book does not prevent you from getting a traditional publishing contract. In some ways, it can help. Traditional Publishers are a business and they are looking for a return on their investment (profit). They don’t care whether you self-published, just if you were successful and had good sales.
If you self-publish your book, you will be familiar with the process and if you have good sales, they will believe they will be able to publish your book successfully.
If you self-published a book and didn’t make much sales, you may have a hard time getting a traditional contract. The publisher may not believe in your work’s ability to sell.
The main advantage of self-publishing is the higher royalty rate. For example, you might earn 70% of the cover price (ebook) as opposed to just 25% if you go with a traditional publisher. However, the main drawback to self-publishing is the publicity and marketing that you need to do in order for people to even know your book exists. In the case of a traditionally published book, the author has already built up a name and a reader base, making it much easier to get the word out about their self-published books.
As a self published author or if you are planning to self publish your book, start building your author brand today.