Do only traditionally published books become bestsellers?

Do only traditionally published books become bestsellers?

Traditionally published books are those that are published by established publishing houses and released in physical or digital form. The publishing industry has been around for centuries and has traditionally served as a gatekeeper of sorts, determining which books are worthy of being published and widely distributed. Over the years, the publishing industry has changed and evolved, adapting to new technologies and the changing tastes of readers. However, despite these changes, the question remains: do only traditionally published books become bestsellers?

The short answer is no. In recent years, the rise of self-publishing has disrupted the traditional publishing model and opened up new opportunities for authors to reach a wide audience. However, while it is possible for self-published books to become bestsellers, there are still many challenges and obstacles to overcome. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between traditionally published books and bestsellers in the ever-evolving publishing industry.

Bestsellers and Traditionally Published Books

Bestsellers are books that are extremely popular and sell a large number of copies in a short period of time. Traditionally published books have long been associated with bestsellers, as publishing houses have the resources and reach to effectively market and promote their books. They also have established networks with bookstores, libraries, and other outlets that help to ensure that a book reaches a wide audience.

Publishing houses have teams of professionals who are dedicated to the success of their books. These teams may include editors, marketers, designers, and publicists, who all work together to bring a book to market and make it a success. For example, a publishing house might invest in a large marketing campaign to promote a book, using various channels such as social media, print advertisements, and media tours to reach a wide audience.

However, it’s not just the publishing houses that contribute to a book’s success. Quality writing and a compelling story also play a major role in determining whether a book will become a bestseller. A publishing house might invest in a book that they believe has the potential to be a bestseller, but if the book doesn’t resonate with readers, it won’t sell well no matter how much money is spent on marketing and promotion.

The Rise of Self-Publishing

In recent years, the rise of self-publishing has disrupted the traditional publishing model. Self-publishing gives authors the freedom to publish their work without having to go through the traditional gatekeepers. This has resulted in a surge of new voices and fresh perspectives entering the market.

Self-publishing also provides authors with more control over the creative process, as well as a larger share of the profits. Instead of splitting royalties with a publishing house, self-published authors keep all of the profits from their book sales. Additionally, self-publishing has become increasingly accessible with the rise of e-books and print-on-demand technology, which makes it possible for anyone to publish and distribute their work.

Despite these advantages, becoming a self-published bestseller takes some effort. Self-published authors have to wear many hats, including those of writer, editor, marketer, and publicist. This can be a daunting task, especially for authors who are not familiar with the publishing industry. However, there have been many examples of self-published books that have become wildly successful, such as “The Martian” by Andy Weir and “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James. These books demonstrate that with the right marketing and promotion, self-published books can achieve the same level of success as traditionally published books.


One important factor in the success of self-published books is the quality of the writing. Yes, the publishing industry has changed with the rise of self-publishing, but the key to a book’s success remains the same: a compelling story and effective marketing. While traditionally published books still have an advantage, self-published books have the potential to become bestsellers with the right efforts. The ever-evolving publishing industry continues to offer opportunities for both traditionally published and self-published authors to reach a wide audience and become bestsellers.Don’t forget to check out our previous post on “Traditional Publishing vs Self-Publishing – The Good & The Bad

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