Traditional publishing: send your manuscript off to a publisher or agent. They decide if they like it. They do all the work. They get a percentage of the profits.
Self-publishing: You do all the work. You make all the profit.
It's a tough decision. Traditional publishers have a lot of skill and knowledge. They have cover artists, editors, proofreaders, marketing teams, and bookstore contacts. They have decades of experience publishing books and marketing them to readers.
If your book gets selected, then it has a good chance of being successful. You don't have to learn how to pick a good cover or run Facebook ads.
You can focus on just writing.
However, you will have to deal with rejection letters when they don't want your book and you will get less money when they do want it.
On the other hand, as a self-publisher you get to pick your cover. You get to hire an editor that you like and not one that someone picks for you. If the books succeeds, it's all because of what you did. And, you'll get all the profits. It's a lot more risk, but a lot more reward.
I love self publishing. From the couple of books I've pitched, it's very possible that I wouldn't be published at all if not for self-publishing. (Here's a link on how to get started!) However, my books sell well enough that this is my
It's a lot of work. I would love to get a publishing contract (it's actually one of my goals this year) because I want to write more and do the publishing side less. I'll still self-publish because I love the freedom and choices. I love not getting rejection letters, too.
The best of both: pitch your book to a publisher. If they don't want it, self-publish it.