Very early in the process of writing a book you must answer an important question about publishing. The question is this: Do I want to self-publish my book or publish it through, what might be called, a traditional type of publishing house.
The answer is largely dependent on what you’re hoping to achieve or, in other words, what your goal is. For our purposes, I simply want to raise the question as one you need to address upfront before you get too far down the track. The reason is simple. If you don’t address it up front you’ll probably regret it. I suggest that you take time to research the pros and cons of self-publishing before you proceed any further. Once you’ve made the decision best for you, you’ll be ready to roll.
Below you’ll find a short list of the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing. The list is by no means extensive. But it is a starting point. Again, I suggest you go to your favorite search engine and type in: The advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing. You have plenty to read and think about.
Advantages to Self-Publishing
1. The author keeps all the profits and generally gets paid monthly
2. The author sets the price for the book and keeps control over design elements like the cover.
3. The author controls the pace of the project. Traditional publishers are typically slow.
4. The author keeps all rights to foreign sales, movie rights, etc.
5. The author can still choose to work with a traditional publisher later.
6. The author receives a higher royalty.
Disadvantages to Self-Publishing
1. The author carries the entire financial burden.
2. The author is responsible for finding an editor, cover designer, layout designer, etc.
3. The author is completely responsible for setting up distribution and marketing.
4. The author has little chance of getting his or her book into a brick and mortar bookstore.
5. The author is thrust into the publishing and marketing world and must spend a lot of time on the “business” of writing vs. the craft of writing.
Take time to do some research on the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing. This will prepare you to answer the following questions:
Do think it would best for you to self-publish or use a traditional publisher?
If you choose to self-publish, do you have the time and resources to do it at a professional level?
Next time we’ll talk about the “message of your book.”