If you are new to writing you might not understand that the day you finish your manuscript is not the end. In truth, it is only the beginning.
Once your manuscript is ready to be published it is now time to stop and make some big decisions. The first decision you will have to make is whether you should spend your time hunting down a publisher or whether you should go it alone and self-publish your book.
A few years ago, people who self-published were thought of as second rate. It was falsely assumed that they had been rejected by traditional publishers, and that bringing out their book themselves was their only option.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
So, what are the benefits of self-publishing? There are many, but today we are going to look at 5 you may not have thought of before.
1. You Get to Keep Most of The Profits
When you publish with an online platform like Smashwords eBooks and/or Amazon, Kindle and in Print, you get to set the price of your book. There are costs deducted, of course, but these are set out clearly for you and then it is up to you to decide what you are going to charge.
This means that you get to keep most of the profits. With traditional publishing, many authors only receive a small percentage of the book sales, and this is usually only below 10%. The publishing house has to outlay for the printing of the book, and editors etc, which doesn’t leave much for the author as you can imagine.
If you are not sure what to charge a quick scan through similar books will give you an idea. Many authors set the price of their book too high. After all, if they’ve spent many months writing a book they don’t want to just give it away. However, the costs of books is dropping and new authors need to be realistic and adjust their expectations.
Having said that, however, self-publishing allows each author to keep most of the profits of publishing and producing their book, and allows a lot more freedom too.
2. Your Book, Your Way
Keeping creative control over your book is important for many authors. Sure, you’ve had your book edited and it reads really well, but many traditional publishing houses remove all creative control from the hands of those people who created the piece in the first place, the authors.
It’s your book and you want the story, plot and characters to be as you created them. After all, when you started you had a clear idea of what your book would be, and no one has the right to change that.
Also, when you self-publish you control the font, the font size, the page layout, and the book cover – just to name a few basic points. This means that your finished book will end up just the way you want it to. And, whatever you decide, you are working for yourself and you don’t have to answer to anyone else.
3. Take Control Over Your Journey as an Author
We all know that traditional publishing houses have to make a lot of money to stay afloat – it’s just the way businesses work. To do this they are really only interested in publishing authors who are big sellers; those who are already famous and, of course, those who will ensure a greater return on their investment.
This often results in them rejecting unknown authors because they are not willing, or can’t afford to take the risk.
Self-publishing allows anyone to share their story with the world. Some people have a great idea for a book and never put pen to paper because they know it will never be published. Others have a need or a gift for writing that would never be shared if it wasn’t for self-publishing.
4. Promote Your Book Your Way
Self-published authors are in complete control of the promotion and marketing of their book. They are required to have a social media presence and create websites, posts, videos, blog posts and more.
They don’t have to listen to the ideas of others or write articles that they are told to by so-called experts. In truth, anyone who can write a book and has a go get ‘em attitude can really make an impact on social media and online. They have full control, and yes they make errors, but that’s an important part of the author journey.
There are plenty of other authors who are willing to help, as well as, companies with years of experience that can help new authors get started.
5. Re-Publish Your Work and Don’t be Defined by Genre
If you are bound to a traditional publishing house not only don’t you have much say over what your book looks like, it is unlikely you will have any influence when it comes to republishing it either. As well, you may not get the opportunity to publish earlier works or collections.
As a self-published author you can publish anything you like. You may have a drawer full of poems you wrote when you first met your partner. You may have a few funny children’s stories ticking away in your mind waiting to be told.
While many traditionally authors are quickly defined by the genres they write in, self-published authors can expand their creativity and write across a wide range of fields. They don’t have to be worried about the narrowness of their brand or whether their reading public will accept a different type of story. They can be as creative as they like.
If you are at the stage of completing your first book or it’s sitting on your desk, now is the time to take the next step and share it with the world.
Do your research and consider what best suits you. And, if you are sick of getting rejection emails then try self-publishing. It may just be the answer you are looking for.
By Susan Day for Chick Lit Cafe
About Susan Day
Susan Day is a self-published author of 20 fiction and non-fiction books. She’s also the editor and creator of Enthralled magazine, a place for authors and writers who are in love with words, and who want to learn more about writing and publishing