The booming industry of self-publishing has transitioned writers into entrepreneurs as well. Not only have you finished the great task of writing a book, or series, you now have the creative freedom to self-publish and take on the endless possibilities. Although this may seem frightening to go against the traditional publishing path, there can be countless rewards and a great sense of freedom being a self-published author. Self- publishing opens the door to getting your work to the reader. We’ve all been rejected and questioned regarding when our goals will work out. When you choose self-publishing, the next step is in your hands.
Traditional publishing has set a precedent of being time consuming, unpredictable, and complicated. First, you find an agent, or you can try to go straight to a publisher. Many writers are rejected and it can take a tremendous amount of time to get your work published, if it ever happens. You may find that no one is interested in publishing your book, and there are numerous factors that are out of your control. Sure, you may hit it big and be published quickly, but unless you are an established author, this is not likely.
Self-publishing puts you, the writer, in control of the publishing, pricing, and distribution of your book. Although you cannot guarantee a large readership, there are countless resources to assist you in a successful self-publishing venture. Self-publishing has grown exponentially with companies like Amazon making it simple and easy to publish your work quickly and reach a broad market. eReaders are expanding the reach of eBooks, which are a good way to start in the self-publishing world.
Financial Gains for Authors that Self-Publish
Most authors want, and need, to make a profit from their books. The old ideal was to go a traditional publishing route, have a nice advance, and then enjoy additional royalties. The up-front advance overshadows smaller royalties on additional copies with the traditional publishing path. When you look at this realistically, this can be a bum deal for the author. Imagine getting a big Christmas bonus, but for the next 20 years you work every day for minimum wage. The bonus was nice, but now you aren’t getting the best compensation for your work.
When done the right way, self-publishing can set you up to have profitable compensation for your work. You forgo the advance, but have higher royalties than with traditional publishing. Amazon has wonderful royalties for self-publishing, with options between 35 and 70 percent. Traditional publishing royalties typically stay between 8 and 15 percent. Depending on the price of your book, and how many are sold, this could amount to thousands of dollars you would forgo by not self-publishing.
Another financial aspect of self-publishing is book pricing. When you self-publish, you have more control over the pricing of your book. This is beneficial, as you can price low in hopes of more sells, or even to lure readers in to a series, then charge more for the additional books in the series. This is a tactic that Amanda Hocking used to self-publish her books and sell millions of copies. She had been unsuccessful with traditional publishing, so she took her fate into her own hands and tried self-publishing. She had the freedom to decide her pricing and royalties, which turned out very profitable. Authors who self-publish have more options and can be more successful than authors who choose traditional publishing.
Being Business Savvy When Publishing
Like Amanda, you must be business savvy when you choose to self-publish. Although you have a greater potential to make more money and have more freedom, you must also work harder and smarter. Not only are you a writer, you have to be an entrepreneur when you decide to self-publish. By cutting out the middle men of traditional publishing, you must set your intentions, worth, and market your book yourself. Self-Publishing Advice Center has a multitude of resources to assist you in marketing your self-published book.
Just as with any product, you must create ways to get the word out about your book. Again, the digital world opens many doors, but is also inundated with new books, products, and ideas. Think of your writing as a business, and decide what you most want from having your book published. If you are more concerned with readers than financial gain, you may want to market your book at a low price, or free. If you want to build an empire, with a series or additional books, you need to create a business plan, or map, to determine how you will accomplish your goals. When you choose self-publishing, you are the CEO of your brand.
The CEO of any company has many responsibilities, but if they are wise, they have great returns and rewards for their work. As a writer, you may feel behind the scenes and not see yourself as someone with the power of a CEO. However, when you self-publish, you have more power than some entire companies. In fact, more companies are recognizing the power of writers. Writing a book can be a marketing tool for expanding a reader’s understanding, or peaking their interest in a product. There are several genres of books, and self-publishing can promote awareness, introduce or sell a product, and create an advertisement for the content base. The same can be applied to the author, as being seen as knowledgeable about a certain topic or highlighting your experiences. This can open doors for more exposure for the writer, thus more exposure for the book.
Self-publishing opens a world of opportunities for writers who aren’t interested, or can’t break into traditional publishing. The digital world creates a pathway to publish a variety of writing and potentially have tremendous success. Although there is more work on the writer’s end, the creative freedom enables you to have endless possibilities for your brand. Self-publishing allows you to get your work to readers around the globe. There is endless support and information as you navigate your self-publishing journey.
What are your reasons for self-publishing? What are your questions, concerns, and fears? Share them in the comments and join the dialogue about self-publishing.