With the popularity of and relative ease and accessibility to create and obtain e-books, new writers tend to believe that self publishing their work is a painless, easy and quick process that will launch their writing career and make them millions. I know because that is the way I thought when I first started 6 years ago. I was gonna be a millionaire within a year!
The Reality is that Self Publishing is Hard Work
“The End” is not the end of your work. On the contrary, it’s just the end of the introduction. Self publishing is a very involved process that requires you to be a marketer, an editor, a publicist and a cover designer as well as the creative genius behind the next great American novel you just wrote.
Even if you are able to hire someone to do all of these jobs, you are still the one making the final decisions. You are the President and CEO of YourWritingCareer, Inc. and the buck stops with you.
There are many self-published authors who are making a ton of money on their books. There are many more that are making a decent living. If your book is good and you market and promote it well, you will make a lot of money. If it is not good, it does not matter how much marketing you do, it will not sell because word of mouth is still the best publicity and that will not happen until readers like what they read.
Disadvantages of Self Publishing
- The biggest disadvantage of self-publishing is that as a writer, you may not be at a place in your writing where it is ready to be unveiled to the world. Writing is a process that can take years to perfect before you become good enough to publish stories people will want to buy. Many self-published authors do not sell well simply because their work is not yet good enough.
It does not mean they will never be good.
- As a self-publishing author you may also have to spend money hiring a professional editor, cover designer and a publicist.
- You WILL have to spend a lot more time than a traditionally published author promoting and selling your books.
Advantages of Self Publishing
- As a Self Published author you have A LOT more control over cover design and publishing date.
- You maintain ALL of the rights and can publish in different formats and for different audiences.
- Are free to work at your own pace, producing as many books in a year as you desire.
- Set your own price for each book, offer them free or as giveaways.
- Most importantly, you are not required to share the bulk of your royalties with a traditional publisher, e-publisher or an agent.
We’re all different people and therefore different writers. What I consider an advantage to self publishing you may very well consider a disadvantage, and vice-versa. This is not an exact science, nor is it supposed to be. In the end each of us must choose what’s best for us as individuals and as writers.
There are literally thousands of people taking the road to self-publishing without really understanding all of the pitfalls of the whole process. I know this because I was one of them. It’s far more detailed than writing something and pressing the publish button. Like any other business start-up, it is important to do proper research and identify your goals before embarking on this journey.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can leave leave a comment here…