Do you have that fabulous manuscript which can’t be hidden anymore? Or maybe you’re still working on the story but can see the rays of light at the end of the tunnel? In any case, you’re probably wandering around the publishing industry not knowing which way to let your baby to the world. Undoubtedly, it’s an important decision to make for any author which will have a huge impact on the final result. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that difficult. It’s just important to know what you want as well as what you don’t want. Therefore, all first-time-authors must carefully do their homework analyzing those two powerful and different paths: self-publishing and traditional publishing.
Is Self-Publishing for Me?
There are plenty of writers who started their careers by self-publishing, but some beginners still lack knowledge about it. Also, various fears and doubts come along that uncertainty. So, a good way to start is to purify some key questions. Try ask yourself: how much of your personal time are you ready to invest in? If you don’t feel like doing anything else after you hand over your manuscript, then you probably should choose a traditional publishing house. This way you put your project in others’ hands and can count days (more likely weeks or months) until you see it in the bookstores. But if you prefer to keep everything under your control then you should consider self-publishing.
Are you still thinking? Of course you are. That’s why we are here!
Here’s the 7 advantages of self-publishing:
- FULL CREATIVE CONTROL. Traditional publishing houses make their own decisions regarding the cover, design, marketing, and other aspects of your work. Sometimes they can even have an impact on the book’s title. Meanwhile, self-publishing houses give you full control upon this. In other words, you’re given the possibility to be your own boss and lead your book to any direction you want.
- HIGHER ROYALTY RATES. No wonder people talk that it’s nearly impossible to be a full-time writer unless, of course, you’re as prolific as Stephen King or Margaret Atwood. Many traditional publishing houses cut most of the royalties leaving the author with approximately 10% of the profit. Usually this is the main reason why writers chose to be self-published: they are being rewarded with almost 100% of the profit. You didn’t spend your nights and days writing that masterpiece to end up with empty pockets, did you?
- EXPANDING YOUR NETWORK. By choosing self-publishing you sign up for various tasks you’ll have to do throughout the entire process. However, it doesn’t mean you’re going to do everything on your own. You’ll probably want to find a good designer, proofreader and other experts important for the best quality final result. So, this gives you an opportunity to get in touch with many different people who will work on your book. Also, let’s keep in mind that eventually they might even buy it and read it. In the best case scenario, recommend it to a friend.
- NO STRICT TIMELINE. Traditional houses require every author to meet their deadlines which most of the time can cause additional stress. Especially, if you’re not (yet) a full-time writer meaning that you probably sit down to those stories only in the evenings after your day work or on weekends. So, self-publishing houses are not putting any extra pressure on your shoulders. You can organize your time as you want.
- NO GATEKEEPERS. You can forget all those fears of being rejected. There won’t be an agent who will slap the doors in front of you with a harsh “No”. In self-publishing houses, every author is welcomed anytime and there is nothing who would try to stop you from publishing your work.
- 100% RIGHTS TO YOUR WORK. Once an author signs a contract with a traditional publishing house, the rights to his or her book is being taken over. In some cases, it can result in various unpleasant situations that can cause a big headache and put a shadow on your dream. However, none of this can happen working with self-publishing houses. You simply maintain all your rights.
- TESTING THE MARKET. If you’re not sure whether readers will be interested in your book as much as you wish them to be, firstly you can just test the waters. Using print-on-demand technology (POD, which is a digital technology and not a business model), you can begin by printing just a small number of copies and see how your book sells. This way you avoid printing too much and ending up in turning a loss.
The stigma surrounding self-publishing and print-on-demand is diminishing. Many famous authors have chosen to start their careers this way, and we all know where it brought them. So, think carefully and make a responsible decision. Maybe self-publishing can make your dream come true?