Do you dream of becoming a published author? There was a time when the only way you could do that was by signing a contract with a publishing house.
Things have changed, though. Nowadays, all you need is a manuscript and a cover, and you can make your book available on Amazon in less than 24 hours. So why haven’t you done it yet?
Here are some things that you should know about self-publishing..
Okay, so about that book deal…
Let me guess. The reason why you haven’t published your work yourself is that you are waiting for someone to discover you. You are holding out for that book deal, aren’t you?
I’m afraid I have some bad news for you. The chances of you getting a book deal are very slim. How can I tell that without having taken a look at your writing?
Simple. Most publishing houses are being bombarded with manuscripts every day and have sky-high slushpiles. What are the chances that the 22 year old intern tasked with going through the submissions will pick your work?
And even if that happens, which, again, is very unlikely, you probably won’t have the experience you are hoping for. The reality is that publishing houses don’t really do much marketing for authors that aren’t established already. So no, you probably won’t get to do a book tour, unless you finance it yourself. This makes one question what do publishing houses actually provide that makes it worth it to split your royalties with them.
I’d say that right now, there’s very little that publishing houses do that you couldn’t do yourself, and that for most people self-publishing makes much more sense. Why?
3 reasons to self-publish your book
Self-publishing is more accessible, more profitable, and more fulfilling than traditional publishing.
- Accessability. You don’t need to deal with any gateekepers. All you need is a text file with a manuscript and image files with the cover. Once you have that, you can publish your work on Amazon Kindle store in less than 24 hours, and make it available to the millions of people who buy books there. There’s no need to wait for years and years to get noticed!
- Profitability. Do you know that you can make more money with self-publishing than you would with traditional publishing? For example, if you price your book between $2.99 and $9.99, you will get to keep the full 70% of the revenue. That’s a crazy percentage for book royalties that you would never get with traditional publishing.
- Fulfillment. When you sign a contract with a traditional publisher, you give them control over your work, and have to deal with other people telling you what to do. That can make a creative person feel suffocated. Meanwhile, if you self-publish, you get to be in a driver’s seat at all times. Yes, it’s more responsibility, because you have to make all the decisions, but they are your decisions. You get to have complete creative freedom. And what more could a writer ask for?
It’s the 21st century. Traditional publishing houses are fading into irrelevance meanwhile self-publishing is one the rise. This has democratized the book industry. Now, everyone can write and publish a book, and make their print on demand merchandize available. Maybe it’s time for you to join the self-publishing revolution as well?
It’s important to understand that self-publishing is hard work. You have to do everything yourself. This includes writing the manuscript, creating the cover, finding reviewers, handling the marketing, getting press, etc. Don’t expect to just put a book on Amazon and become the next J.K.Rowling!
However, if you are confident that you can handle wearing all those hats, then you should definitely give it a try. You will enjoy complete creative freedom while having an opportunity to make decent money with your writing. And, talking about money, there are a lot of people who are pulling in six figures a year. Maybe you can join their ranks?
Of course, don’t expect an overnight success, because that never happens. Your first book might flop. So might your second. And your third. It’s a steep learning curve… But if you persevere, you stand a chance of creating a dream life for yourself. So keep writing and keep publishing!