Self publishing used to be seen as a last resort by many writers. It was thought that self publishing authors were not up to the standard required by publishers, so they had taken the step to self publish instead. This cost the author a huge amount of money in investing in the “vanity” press, or they needed to learn how to become a small scale publisher in their own right.
However times have changed vastly over the last few years and with the invention of print on demand (POD) technology, many POD services appeared, offering low cost self publishing packages to authors. This was great news, as now they only needed to pay for the creation of the book instead of printing costs and warehouse storage and distribution.
Today authors receive 85% or more of their sales through the online retailer Amazon. Authors can put their ebook or print book up for sale on Amazon without paying any money upfront. This ensures a huge audience. According to analysis self published authors now have a large share in the market, which is on the rise, in comparison there has been a drop in the market share from other publishing methods. So as highlighted above it is much easier now to publish your own book via POD services than ever and can be done with low cost to the author.
There are other reasons to self publish, some of which are highlighted in this article.
You may become rich!
Self publishing your own book, gets your book “out there”. It is very hard when going down the traditional publishing route to rise out of the “slush” pile. Publishers receive a huge number of manuscripts on a daily basis, so it is easy for yours to get overlooked, not to mention the huge amount of time it takes to receive a response. With a lot of promotion, business acumen, hard work and belief in your book, it is possible to make money. These days you will receive much more than the 5-15% royalty fees that traditional publishers pay.
Self publishing your book means that you can get onto the market place much quicker than by following the traditional publishing route. This means you can stay ahead of the game in terms of trends and technology. If you run your own business and you wish to self publish a guide to your services you can now create online books quickly and easily by using publishing tools such as a BrandBits flipbook, which will enable you to stay ahead of your competitors in the market. Traditional publishers can take over 18 months or more to get your book into the marketplace.
When you have spent months, if not years writing your book you understandably feel proud and have a huge connection with the characters in fictional stories and have a strong belief in the information you are conveying in non fiction. The last thing you want is for your book to become completely unrecognisable during the editing and publishing process. It may of course be necessary to get advice on editing your book, but if you are personally hiring an editor then you can retain some control. You also have control as to what the cover of your book will look like as you will hire designers who will assist you in your vision. This is an enjoyable part of publishing a book and being a self publisher lets you enjoy the process. Keep your vision at the forefront of your mind.
A step towards traditional publishing
Once your book has proved itself in the marketplace as a POD, you may find yourself heading into the more traditional form of publishing. Self publishing can be a springboard down this route. You may be approached by traditional publishers and of course because your book is already selling you can negotiate a better price.
Be your own boss
Writers have traditionally been seen as slaving away in turrets trying to fill blank pages with creative inspiration. This image is true to a certain extent, except now there are enough tools and self publishing options to make the process a little quicker. It is possible to work wherever you wish and the hours that you like without strict timescales set by publishers. Often traditional publishers will set timescales as to when you need to do rewrites, which can hamper creativity a little. Although you need to be quite strict with yourself when writing, if you are going down the self publishing route you will be able to take breaks when needed.
So there are many reasons to self publish, but how do you go about it?
Luckily there are many options available to you. It is very important to do your research before paying any money. Look at reviews, past work and see if it fits in with your vision for your book.
Here are two options available to you.
Self publish completely on your own
If you feel confident in the process, then this would be the most cost effective option. You will be completely autonomous in hiring the freelance help you need. You would work directly with retailers and distributors of your book.
Hire a service company
This is a good option to follow if you are writing a book secondary to a full time career. You basically hire the service company to act as your publisher, which is a good option if you haven’t the time to get to grips with the publishing industry. Self publishing service companies make their money by charging the author for editorial, design and marketing services and they usually have different packages available. It is essential to make sure you maintain all rights to your work and that they pass on 100% of all sales. Research carefully.
There is also the possibility to self publish via hybrid companies and agents, who were traditionally connected to large publishing houses are now offering self publishing services. Although they may have expertise in the publishing industry, it is very important to carefully research what they are offering, as often they charge steep fees.
Hopefully this article will have highlighted some of the options available to self publishing your book.