One of the reasons why the majority of best-selling books have been delivered through traditional methods is because traditional publishers have become experts in the business. Every big publishing house has expert editors, cover designers, marketers, and so on. The team that is behind the majority of best-selling books has been thoroughly doing its homework.
Many of the current best-selling authors have had their work rejected at least once by traditional publishers. However, through perseverance, they eventually managed to publish their work. Some fought against the current until a traditional publisher accepted their work, while others turned to self-publishing solutions.
One of the best advantages offered by traditional publishers is quality control. The rigorous control of an author's work will almost always produce a best-selling book. The majority of experienced editors and advertisers can tell whether a manuscript is worthy of publishing or not.
Unfortunately, with traditional publishers, the whole publishing process can take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. Large publishers work through hundreds and hundreds of books, meaning that it may take a lot of time before a particular book gets read. Moreover, there's always a chance for the book to be rejected. That's not the case with self-publishing.
Authors who decide to self-publish, take matters into their own hands. The entire process depends entirely on the author. However, in order to become a best-selling self-published author, your work needs to be above a certain standard that was, ironically, established by traditional publishers. Paying out of your own pocket for a professional editor can transform an average book into an excellent one.
If you want to become a best-selling author, you have to commit to writing. Nobody is born an expert, and as history has shown us, even best-selling authors have at least a mediocre book. The key to success is to never stop writing. Most best-selling authors have had their first taste of success after their 2nd or even 3rd book. However, by the time they finished that third book, their writing skills and creativity levels had reached new levels.
The most important aspect to keep in mind when trying to reach the top as a self-published author is to make sure your final manuscript is of the highest possible quality. Both the text within the book and the outside cover should be inspected by at least one professional editor and designer, respectively. Moreover, authors should fully understand that self-publishing involves dedication and a decent financial support.
Nowadays, the barrier between traditionally and self-published books is almost non-existent. Although the stigma against self-published books still exists, it's not as strong as it was in the past. Successful self-published authors such as E. L. James, Amanda Hocking, or James Redfield opened new horizons in the publishing game.