Companies like Amazon have made publishing your own book so much easier than you think. But should you self publish or try and find an agent and a publishing house to publish your book?
I’ve learnt a lot in the last few years of publishing my own books, and in this post, I’m just looking at the pro’s and con’s of self publishing. In the following weeks, I’ll focus on other areas of self publishing.
So, here are my pro’s and con’s for self-publishing.
- You won’t get rejected by an agent or publishing house. Even books that become best-sellers have been rejected by numerous publishers before finding one that will take it. By self-publsihing your book, you avoid that rejection and the self-doubt that goes with it.
- You have complete control over the process of publishing your book. For some people this is important.
- Whatever money you make is yours. When you go with an agent and publishing house, they take their cut of the royalties before you see a penny.
- Self publishing your book has never been easier. There are a number of websites that have been set up where you can upload your manuscript, upload your book cover, wait a couple of days and bob’s your uncle. Your book is published.
- When you publish your own book, you can get everything done in just a few days. Once your manuscript is ready, and you can upload it to Amazon, Lulu or whichever site you choose and in Amazon’s case, the book will be live in up to 72 hours.
- It’s a great feeling pressing the [Publish you book] button, and then having your book in your hand.
- Most bestsellers are from people who are already established and can tap into their existing market. When Marie Forleo write her book it took a couple of years to do, with editing etc whilst still running her business. I first heard about her book when got an email about it being published. This was 6 months before the publish date, and it was available for pre-order on Amazon. She then spent months creating a buzz about her book, planning a book tour and creating bonuses for those on her email list. When you realise this, you’ll understand why it was an instant no.1 New York times bestseller when it was released. Most of us just don’t have 10 years of list building, marketing and promotion experience to tap into when we release a book.
- It’s a steep learning curve the first time you do it. Choosing which site to use, sourcing help and marketing your book
- You’re responsible for proof-reading and editing your book. This can take time, and even if you’re good at proof-reading other people’s work, you may not be the best person to proof-read your own. I get Word to read my book to me. That way I can hear what I’ve written, not what I think I wrote.
- You’re responsible for marketing your book and getting it into peoples hands. Publishing houses have a whole team of experts who have the skills the market your book for you. The downside is that the cost of this will be taken out of your royalties. When you do it yourself, you need to set up a website, social media accounts and promote your book yourself. You may even want to send out press releases and try and get yourself onto podcasts, radio and tv shows or to have articles written about you in newspapers.
- You’re responsible for all the costs of publishing. It costs money to publish your book. You can minimise this and do it all yourself, but for most people this will show. You can also use print on demand suppliers, so that the book is only printed when someone orders it. This reduces the risk that you’ll be left with a load of books you can’t sell, but also means there is less pressure/incentive to sell them.
- If you want to publish something more than a paperback, then you may want to connect with publishing houses in China who are able to things like embossing and adding pen holders and place holders. They will want and up-front payment and will have mim=nimum order levels. You then have to store, sell and distribute them.
These are just some of the pro’s and con’s of self publishing, and based on my own experience.
Personally, I would recommend that you do your own research because once you self publish, even if you’re successful, it will be difficult to get a publishing house to take you one.
Saying that, I much prefer self-publishing, and most of the books I buy on Kindle are from self-published authors.
Either way, have fun writing your book, and if I can help at all, then why not give me a shout? If you’d like a quick chat, then you can schedule a time here.
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