4 Reasons to Choose to Self-Publish Your Book

Reasons to self-publish rather than traditionally publish.You’ve produced a blogged book manuscript, but after considering the four reasons why you might choose a traditional publisher for your project, you’ve decided this option doesn’t suit your character. Now what? Consider independently publishing your blogged book. Become a publisher in your own right by self-publishing your book.

Why might you opt for independent publishing? Here are four good reasons to choose to self-publish your book.

 

1. You want to be a “project manager” and an indie publisher.

If you like handling details and managing people, self-publishing might be the right publishing route for you. Self-publishing a book puts you in charge of hiring all the subcontractors you’ll need to get the job done, such as editors, proofreaders, indexers, designers, printers, and distributors. It also makes you the person in charge of making all the decisions, from who to hire, to what type of conversion program to use, to how to print and distribute the finished product. If you enjoy project management, you will enjoy independent publishing.

But be prepared for the job. You become a publisher with all that entails. You must have an entrepreneurial spirit, which means a head for business and a love of all that goes with running one (or at least a strong interest in business). After all, publishing is the business of producing and selling books.

If you aren’t quite sure you are suited to doing everything entailed, you can get help on the production side by finding a done-for-you or assisted publishing service. (If you need a recommendation, email me.) This reduces some of the project management work load while still allowing you to make decisions and self-publish. (More on this and other self-publishing options in future posts.)

2. You want to invest your own money in your project.

If finances don’t hold you back from publishing your book, self-publishing offers a great option. In fact, these days you can independently publish your book inexpensively. For example, producing an ebook can cost you next to nothing, but this does not take into account the cost of editing your manuscript. This is an expense that some claim costs more than all other publishing expenses lumped together (but it’s well worth the money if you want to produce a marketable book). Publishing a print-on-demand (POD) book is cost-effective as well. However, as the publisher, you invest your own funds to back your project. You, not some other publisher, will pay for editing, design, proofreading, indexing, printers, distribution, etc. And you will be the one taking the financial risk. If you are ready and able to do so—and have that entrepreneurial spirit—this publishing option will suit your nature well.

3. You want more control of your work.

If you self-publish you have control of everything that happens to your book from start to finish. If that appeals to you, you definitely want to independently publish your book. Self-publishing allows you to decide on the title, cover design, editorial revisions, interior design, release date, price, and just about anything else you can think of. If you don’t want someone else making those decisions, become a publisher and publish your own book. If you traditionally publish or even go into a hybrid publishing deal, you will lose that control.

 4. You want to earn more money per book.

Hands down, you will earn more money per copy sold if you self-publish your book. Will you make more money overall compared to traditionally publishing a book? That depends. You will if your book sells as many copies as it would have if produced traditionally taking into consideration that it might have received more exposure if also distributed to brick-and-mortar books stores.  As an independent publisher, you set the price on your book and, and in most cases, the percentage you earn on each book sold. You can be earning 70% per copy as opposed to 15% in many cases—and you won’t be sharing a percentage of that with your literary agent. With that in mind, there is no argument that you can earn more with a self-published book if it sells well.

As with traditional publishing, choosing to self-publish has a lot to do with your personality and your situation. Take all these things into consideration as you determine how to publish your book.

Over the next few weeks I’ll explore traditional publishing in more depth. I will then follow this series of posts with an in-depth look at self-publishing.

Comments

  1. says

    A big reason for publishing yourself is if, after educating yourself about markets and agents, editors and publishers, you become 100% certain that your book will NOT fit into an easy niche.

    If you are convinced that most of your rejections will be of the form “nice writing, but I don’t think this is for us,” your only choice will be to self-publish.

    The last thing you want is for your book to come out, get its 4-6 weeks in obscurity in the back pages of a publisher’s catalog and on the shelves of a bookstore – and vanish forever because it doesn’t have time to find the readers IN that tiny niche. After all your work!

    It makes things a great deal easier if you decide this BEFORE you look for a publisher.

    Oh, I have plans to possibly query when I’m finished with the major edit/revision I’m working on for the novel-in-progress – I am no less starry-eyed than anyone else. And who knows, I might strike the million-dollar fancy of the right agent/publisher combination.

    But that’s not the PLAN. The plan has been formulated with both eyes open, and millions of words read about the state of publishing in the 2010s. I have done my homework.

    The possible path to success lies along the razor-sharp heights at the top of ridges in the Himalayas, an impossible quest in itself. But for me, it’s that – or stay home.
    ABE recently posted..CFS brain adventures: the Paper Cutter fiasco

  2. Nina Amir says

    ABE,

    Publishers like books to fit into a niche and a category because it’s easier to market them that way–they can more successfully sell them. If you can’t figure that out for your own book, you’ll have an equally hard time targeting a market. Maybe you have many markets. You can choose on you own to target them. That is an advantage to self-publishing. Losing the starry-eyed aspect is important–especially before looking for a publisher OR self-publishing.

  3. says

    I love this post because it succinctly states a truth that I’ve not read anywhere else: self-publication (even the indie route) requires project management. You are so right. Handle all details myself or hire an outside firm to do all?

    I love both possibilities, truthfully, as I am enthralled in the book writing process, currently. I’m totally open to publishing traditionally, especially since I just submitted to my first literary agent two weeks ago. That doesn’t take me out of the running for self-publication, though, if I happen to receive a rejection my first time around. I like having so many options!
    Amanda Socci recently posted..Author Laura Howard Publishes a Fantasy about the Forgotten Ones

  4. Nina Amir says

    Amanda,

    There are many options when it comes to publishing a book these days. I’ll be writing about quite a few of them over the next weeks. And many a good author has been reject many times–or traditionally published and then opted for self-publishing or vice versa.

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