Self Pub vs Trad Pub

I’m a former high school English teacher working now as university administrator. I’ve been published in academic and non-profit journals, and my articles have appeared in major newspapers. However for my first non-fiction book I was really struggling between self-publishing and traditional publishing. I researched both avenues over the course of a year while I was gathering my notes for writing. What I found was that most traditional publishers are less involved in promotions and marketing for new authors as in the past. I also found that most publishers get quite a hefty chunk of the proceeds off their books and that they retain control over much of the process. For my first book I wanted to be in control.

After writing for journals and newspapers with very specific requirements, I wanted freedom to be creative and to have fun with my book. I really wanted to enjoy the process. I ended up getting a book coach who consults me on various aspects of my writing and guides me through the process. The group has a publishing service that includes manuscript reviews, proofing editing, customized book covers, and ongoing support. It was important to me to have someone to bounce ideas off of for my first book, but I also get to keep all my rights and proceeds. They do all the work and teach me how to do take myself through the process for subsequent books if I thats what I want to do. This is really more of a hybrid publishing model really.

Finally, one of the most attractive aspects of self-publishing or hybrid publishing, to me,  is I can always submit my material to a traditional publisher later, but I can still say I did this.  I made my book happen.  There’s something really special about seeing an idea come to life in book form. I’m not opposed to either self-publishing or traditional publishing, I think they both have their place, but I think self-publishing at least once gives you insight and forces you to be active in the book process from start to finish.

I’ve found that I enjoy a collaborative process where I can use my creativity and my ideas throughout the whole process of creating and publishing a book, and not just in the writing process. I think if I hadn’t chosen to self-publish through a hybrid publishing process or used a book writing coach, I still would have gone with a smaller publisher for starters, and may yet on my next project.

Learn more about the book:  Purple People Leader: How to Protect Unity, Release Politics, & Lead Everyone:  Inspiration, Wisdom, & Tips for Leading Purple


(Dr. Chester Goad grew up in Scott County, Tennessee in the mountains of Appalachia.  Currently working in higher education, he has been a teacher, a principal, and projects director for a US congressman. He has presented in a variety of venues domestically and internationally. He is a learning and leadership fanatic and volunteers as an advocate for people who learn differently.
He has co-authored for peer reviewed professional journals and recently co-authored Tennessee’s Dyslexia is Real bill that passed the Tennessee House and Senate unanimously.  He is a self-described public policy geek and is committed to helping people lead purple. Movies, reading, surfing the web, spending time with family and friends, church, a cold, fizzy, Dr. Enuf soda, and a great cup of coffee are just a few things that keep him sane! Purple People Leader, set to release on Amazon in August 2014, is his first non-fiction book. )



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