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Self-Publishing – Is it for you?

If you have done any research into self-publishing at all and haven't run screaming for the hills, you're in a great place to start learning the process – if not for your own use, at least so that you're aware of what needs to happen for a book to be published.


And if you have your heart set on publishing your own book, don't let the scary stories or daunting process deter you from making the attempt. Self-publishing is in its in infancy. In terms of growth and availability, the industry is set to become easier to navigate as more authors use the systems and share the information and knowledge they're gaining.

 

Remember that just because there is no editor reading your work and deciding your fate, it doesn't mean that you can skip that step altogether. The use of a good to spectacular editor should be your guiding rule when self-publishing. Your book will face some pretty stiff competition. It's going to be posted along-side many other books of the same genre, some of them by famous authors. How will your story hold up? Do you have a unique slant to your book? A selling point or genuine reason why your book will benefit your audience?


Take the advice of the people who have come before you. With the tremendous growth happening in this area right now, there are people who are actively doing the work of creating guides and publishing information that is geared specifically toward helping newbie self-publishers through the initial process.

 

Some of the information and services offered encompass things like editing, proofreading, typography, graphic design, marketing, and promotion campaigns. Other services bundle everything into one. These are called Author Services Companies and they're becoming more and more popular for self-publishers.
There are definitely a few pros and cons to balance when considering self-publishing, but you are always better-off in the position of having more knowledge than less.


Disadvantages of Self-Publishing

The major disadvantage to publishing your own book is, well, you're all alone. Even if you do like solitude, the isolation of self-publishing can be detrimental to your marketing efforts. You alone are responsible for getting the book sold, along with all of the marketing and promotion that needs to succeed to make that happen.

 

The workload is entirely yours, you have no one to help with any of the responsibilities, expenses or costs. And yes, some people will hold this all against you, seeing you through the stigma that questions how you dare to go it alone, perhaps even seeing you as pulling the bricks out of the wall of traditional publishing houses.

 

While nothing could be further from the truth, traditional publishers are making concessions and changes of their own to better merge with the self-publishing trend. Though you may start out on your own, some of the new author services for self-publishers may make this a thing of the past as editors, proofreaders, and even PR people step forward to offer their services in a freelance capacity.


Benefits of Self-Publishing
The biggest benefit of self-publishing is the same as the biggest disadvantage depending how you look at it.  Where one may see solitude and an overabundance of responsibility, you may see that you are able to control every aspect of your own publishing process. You will have control over your own marketing – where traditional publishing caters most to established authors, leaving new authors alone in the promotion process anyway.


You can complete and distribute your own self-published work substantially faster than a traditional publisher. Your compensation will equal to about half of the cover price – when we all know that traditional publishers take much more than that leaving most writers with approximately 10% or less of the book price. You may also use self-publishing as a means to gauge how successful you might be with a traditional publisher.


Self-publishing could also have the advantage of giving you complete control over the people with whom you interact. A publishing house will have certain people available for you to work with, so what happens if you don't like one of them?

 

Self-publishing will give you the opportunity to hand-select the people with whom you'd like to work. Chances are good that if you find a graphic artist, editor, promoter or other professional who you like and enjoy working with, you'll be able to call on them again when you need them. The continuity and ease of relationship between these people and yourself is a very good reason to opt for self-publishing at least in part.

 

Neither of these options will remove the fact that you are going to have to cultivate some relationships with different people and either accept them as they are in the case of traditional publishing, or choose them carefully if you publish on your own.


Many authors feel that using a combination of both self-publishing and traditional publishing gets the best results. At the very least, you should become familiar and comfortable with the self-publishing process so that you know what to expect, and how to handle the many facets necessary to publish your book.

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