So you have great ideas and superb talent to communicate those ideas through written word. But often times the challenge comes in when finding an outlet to make your content and ideas avalible, specifically, as a book, novel, or memoir. You’d love to publish, but the task seems scary or daunting, and those fears are not without merit.
So what is a writer to do? You have three options; forever keep your ideas saved in a Word document, attempt to publish it traditionally, or self-publish.
As someone diligently working on my first illustrated children’s book, I stopped considering the idea of traditional publishing the moment I heard of self publishing. Here’s my top reasons why you should consider this option as well.
1. Traditional Publishing is Almost Impossible
Think that you’ll submit your work to a major publishing company and they’ll read it? Think again. Most major publishing companies NEVER deal with authors. In order to get published with the “big dogs” you’ll need to go through an agent. Unfortunaly for us first time authors that task can be as hard as trying to get a publisher to look in your direction. Even if you’ve published successful books in the past, unless you were a best seller with a fan base and great marketing skills, it might be hard to get publishers to consider you again. After all, they are taking a risk on each book they print and put their name on. They are looking to make money and unless you can GUARANTEE them that, you’ll be sending your work off to agent after agent and publisher after publisher. With self publishing, YOU are your own publisher. Fortunately you won’t have to do it alone. Platforms such as Create Space (which I’ll be using to publish Mally Mae’s Rotten Day) assist you in creating the most professional looking cover, pages. and format. Your book even automatically becomes avavible on Amazon.com for purchase.
2. Higher Royalties
let’s face it. You’d like to make some money off your hard work. If you publish traditionally you don’t set your own price and you MIGHT make $1 off of each copy of your book sold. That royalty gets even lower when we are talking about hard cover books because they cost more to produce. When you self publish you can earn anywhere between $3-6+ off of each copy depending on the price you set your book at and other factors. As I mentioned, your books are available for purchase on Amazon.com through Create Space, but you can also buy your books yourself (at only the cost of paper, binding, and ink) and sell them yourself earning a higher royalty. CreateSpace.com even provides a royality calculator were you can adjust all your variables to find out how much you will make off of each book sold.
3. Keeping All Your Rights
when you agree to allow a publishing company publish your book, their editors may want to change things including your book title, cover, content, and illustrations. For those of us who consider our books as a work of art, we don’t want people to come in and completely change our ideas.
When you self publish you choose your own editors (or edit it yourself although it’s not recommended) and make all your own decisions on design and content.
Unfortunately, even if you get published with a major publishing house YOU are responsible for sellling your books. Yes, YOU do almost 100% of your own marketing regardless if you publish traditionally or non-traditionally. There was a time and age when publishers promoted their authors, but times have changed dramatically and you are looked on for your own success. When you self-publish you are responsible for your marketing as well, however, with Amazon.com providing on demand printing you don’t have to worry about selling the 500 copies sitting in your basement. When your audience demands your book, Amazon produces it copy by copy.
5. Self-publishing is becoming more main-stream
Just because you self publish doesn’t mean your book isn’t legitimate. More than 1 in 3 books sold on Amazon is self-published and you may not even know it. That book you just picked up on the Walmart website or at your local book store might very well be self published. You would never know unless you looked up the publisher. Books that are self published can become available in stores and online in you invest the time and money in putting them there.
So what do you think? Can you think of any reasons I left out? Would you consider self-publishing?