You will find it fairly hard to decide whether to go for traditional publishing or self-publishing. You will learn that both have their own share of benefits. However, it is important that you understand the fundamental distinction between these two. It is through this that you will be able to reach a more informed decision at the end of the day.
You will learn that you will be needed to give out a proposal to a publishing house after completing your manuscript if you opt for the traditional approach. It will then be upon the editor to read it and determine how good it will be to the publishing house. In the event that it is found to be good, the house will buy the rights over the book from you. You will then be paid an advance on what royalties are expected. This house will take it upon itself to advertise, design, package and print the book in question. The process is a little bit different in the event that you go for the self-publishing approach. The author is oftentimes the publisher. It will be upon you to proofread the manuscript and afterwards pay for its publication. You will also be tasked with the marketing as well as the distribution of the book. There is a possibility for your printing to be guided by the demand of the book. This will guarantee that you will not waste a lot of resources at the end of the day. You will not have a stack of many unsold books at any time.
Let us consider the time taken. You will note that traditional publishing often takes time to finally become a book. You will first be needed to hype your manuscript to a couple of publishing houses. This might take time before finally being accepted. Some of the publishing houses usually take up to even half a year before giving you a response. The production of the book will then take about a year. On the contrary, you will hardly use lots of time when you go for self-publishing. It will only take around half a year before the book is finally out. This will however depend on the chosen publishing house. You will also realize that self-publishing grants you more control over the content of the book.
On the money aspect, you will be needed to pay for the publication if you choose to self-publish. This may run to thousands of dollars. This is basically for the resources that will be used on the book. You will however save yourself this burden if a publishing house accepts your manuscript for traditional publishing. However, you are free to go for any that you find suits you.