You know your book has potential. You know that your "why" driving your story is enough to draw an engaged, excited audience. But you've sent your manuscript to several publishers, and have barely even made it past their automated response system. Or, a publisher finally saw your potential, and proposed to you a publishing plan that requires you to invest tens of thousands of dollars just get your book on a shelf. It's overwhelming and discouraging.
That's why self-publishing is so appealing. You have a way to get your book in front of many readers with minor investment costs and on your own terms.
First, I don't want it to sound like I think publishing with a formal publisher is a bad thing. Every author should aspire to be picked up by a formal publisher and have their book sit on the shelf of Barnes and Noble. But it's difficult for publishers to take on a new, unheard-of author because they’re taking a large RISK. They don’t know if the time and money they’ll invest in the author will return enough reward/revenue for them. So they put in place strict processes to find authors that they believe will be of biggest benefit to them with less risk.
But guess what? Self-publishing can be an amazing tool to catapult your writing career and show publishers you've got what it takes, and that your writing is worth reading.
Here are 5 reasons why you should self-publish:
1. You're SHOWING publishers you're desirable.
You can tell a publisher your writing is going to be a hit all day. But by self-publishing your book, you have the opportunity to SHOW it to them. Through sales, positive reviews, and a devoted online following, you create your own revenue—your own success. You prove it. You prove you have a product to sell. Become desirable.
2. You have complete control.
From first word to printed book in hand, you control who you work with, how it's marketed, and where you promote it. You have 100% control over the author foundation you're building for yourself—and that's going to ensure your work represented is 100% YOU.
You also have more creative freedom. Want your book to be an 8 x 10 illustrated, full color piece? No problem. No one's there to tell you "no," and your options are limitless.
You also get to decide what platform to self-publish through. Pick what tools you like working with best, find what systems mesh seamlessly with your life and work processes, and delegate your dream.
3. You can publish on a budget.
It's true that if you want your book to reach the right people at the right time, and keep up with industry standards—you're going to have to hire professionals to help you in each area of the publishing process. But investing in editors, typesetters, designers, marketers, and even accountants can still be far more within your budget than it would be to go through a large publishing house.
You can also shop around, tackle some of the book basics yourself, and find creative ways to keep it affordable.
And while self-publishing companies definitely take a royalty for what you sell, they often take far less than a big publisher would—which is great for when you're first getting started!
4. You get to set your own pace.
Flexibility with your timeline can make the publishing process more attainable as well as enjoyable. Your timeframe can impact how you plan out your budget and what you can afford when. You also know your audience better than anyone else—so you know when would be the best time to launch, the best time to ask for them to share, and when you can offer to them what they really need.
5. It's better than letting your manuscript collect dust.
Do you know how many people I talk to that come bursting forth with "I WROTE A NOVEL AND NEVER GOT IT PUBLISHED!" in the middle of a completely unrelated conversation? There are so many closet authors, so many "just for fun" writers that have an amazing story sitting on a hard-drive untouched. For very little, you can at least get your book up and available for family and friends to read. Even if you don't have some grand marketing plan and desire to live solely on your book's revenue, you can talk about it, show people it, and have it be a tangible accomplishment you're proud to have on your shelf.
Great reasons, right? Well then why—if all roads lead to self-publishing—are not all writers doing it?
Simply put: IT’S CONFUSING. You don’t know where to start. You don't really understand how the process works and if you have the time or resources available to make it all happen.
Writer friend, I want to help. Having gone through the self-publishing process many times with authors, I know everything it takes to get published. So I put together The Ultimate Self-Publishing Checklist to make things more clear for you. I walk you through everything you need to do from foundation, to printed book in-hand in a simple, easy-to-understand checklist that becomes your companion in the self-publishing process.
Have any pressing questions you want to ask about self-publishing? Feel free to ask below!