Writers have many paths to choose from when it comes to publishing.

Now, more than ever, it is important to understand what these routes look like, the challenges,
the expectations, and sometimes the dangers associated with each.

Publishing Options

There are three options for publishing. Traditional — you choose an established publishing company to produce your book. Self-Publishing — you retain control and source everything you need to publish. Hybrid — a combination of Traditional and Self-Publishing. The resources below should help you decide. As with everything else in life, there are pitfalls for each route you take. The information given is not to dissuade anyone from any path, only to set expectations so you make informed decisions.


Traditional vs. Self-Publishing—Which One is Best for You?

Publisher Definitions: Traditional, Vanity, Hybrid, Assisted Self-Publishing and Who to Avoid


Traditional Publishing

Many writers choose to publish with a publishing house. It’s important to know what this looks like. As an author, you’ll trade money and control for the clout of the publisher’s connections and brand. However, many writers assume going with a traditional publisher means marketing and promotion will be done for them. This is rarely the case. 


How to Get an Agent

Nathan Bransford’s Query Letter Advice

Why Writers Shouldn’t Query Self-Published Books

Know Your Rights: Key Provisions in Contracts
Publishing Contract Red Flags

Contracts: Payment and Rights


Great Resources for Traditional Publishing

Here are some great resources if you choose the traditional publishing route.


Manuscript Wish List

Query Tracker
List of Canadian Agents*
Canadian Book Publishers*

Writer Beware “Thumbs Down” Agency List

Writer Beware “Thumbs Down” Publisher List

The Hot Sheet (Industry Trends & News)


*Remember to do your research. Just because an agent, editor, or publisher is on a list doesn’t mean they are legitimate.
Vet your choices before engaging, read every contract carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask others for advice when you need it.



Today, writers are choosing to stay in control, self-publish on their own timeline, and source freelancers to help with whatever is needed: editing, cover design, etc. This is a viable path for people who are willing to put in the work needed, open to learning to manage all aspects of publishing, marketing, business management, and who can pay the upfront costs associated with this route.


How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish in 2023?

How to Self-Publish Your Book

Creating a Publication Timeline for Your Next Release

How to Tell If You’re Self-Publishing Your Book for the Right Reasons

Distribution: Should You Go Wide or Narrow?


Great Resources for Self-Publishing

The following is a list of resources we recommend you read before pursuing self-publishing.


Writer Beware (stay up to date on common scams, and tracks bad actors in the industry)

Allliance of Independent Authors (get advice and resources + watchdog ratings for self-publishing service)

Reedsy Free Publishing Courses (SP & Traditional)

Pre-Publishing Checklist for SP Authors

Wide for the Win Peer Group


Assisted/Hybrid/Subsidy Self-Publishing








Take the upmost care if considering this option. Most services that go by the terms above are actually predatory vanity publishers in disguise, willing to take on any project, charging huge fees, and unable to deliver on what they promise.


You don’t want to end up with a poorly edited book, thousands of dollars down the drain, and boxes of product you were forced to buy and now can’t sell because the quality isn’t there. Unless you are ready to research deeply to find a vetted self-publishing partner, don’t go this route.


Is Subsidy Publishing Actually Vanity Publishing?

Hybrid Publishing: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know

Hybrid Publisher Criteria

Why Writers Fall for Vanity Presses

How to Avoid Publishing Scams


If you believe you’ve been taken in by a vanity press or bad actor in the SP service arena, don’t beat yourself up. It’s unfortunate, but it can happen.


If you haven’t yet signed anything, don’t, and walk away. But if you have, look at it as a learning experience, one you don’t want to repeat. It’s also an opportunity to be a good writer friend by sharing your experience to prevent others from being snared in a similar scheme.