As you probably know, I am a huge fan of self-publishing. That's how I published What I Gave to the Fire earlier this year, and the process was so smooth, I am now a self-proclaimed ambassador for self-publishing. Here are a few reasons why self-publishing may be a good option for YOU…
1. Time. Once your manuscript is complete, it takes much less time to get it designed and delivered to your printing and distribution channels. Traditional publishing can take months, if not years, longer. Self-publishing allows you to stay on YOUR timetable, not a publishing company's.
2. Simplicity. Once you upload your prepared files, they are ready to be printed-on-demand, usually within 3 business days. It's no longer necessary to purchase boxes of your book and store them in your garage or the back of your car. When someone buys your book, it's printed and shipped to them, with no up-front investment on your part. And the royalties are much better than those offered by traditional publishing. That being said, book promotion is up to you (or a publicist you hire), which can be framed as an adventure or a hassle - your choice.
3. Freedom. You get to say what you want to say. There's no outside agenda trying to influence your words. You have complete control (and responsibility) at your fingertips. This means it's up to YOU to create quality work. You must write, revise, and polish your manuscript, and have it professionally edited. You also have control over the cover and page design, which means unless you are a professional graphic designer, you get to choose your own designer to make your book look amazing and capture attention. (Note: I am a professional graphic designer who loves to work with authors). You have the freedom to make your own decisions about your book, and yes, it's crucial that you work with professionals who can help you create the best product possible. And yes, this requires a financial investment on your part. Otherwise, why bother? The world needs your book and it's worth investing in!
4. Empowerment. No Gatekeeper. This is HUGE. There's no one being paid to reject (or worse yet, IGNORE) your work. Your fate is not dependent on anyone but you. Really. You get to call the shots. In the words of James Altucher, one of my favorite bloggers, you get to CHOOSE YOURSELF.
5. Platform. Self-publishing is a terrific way to build a following. With traditional publishing, your manuscript or proposal won't even be considered unless you demonstrate you already have a substantial platform (thousands of followers on social media, a huge mailing list, etc. to increase the chances of selling more copies of your book). When you self-publish, YOU choose when to emerge as an author, and enjoy the credibility and connection that brings. You can start by publishing a shorter e-book, if you want. Offer it for free on your website as a way to drive traffic to your site and build readers. Use your book as a marketing tool. There are endless possibilities, some of which I may explore in a future blog.
Until then…here's to your creative breakthrough!
Author and Branding Consultant
I am passionate about helping mission-centered business owners share their message through compelling written and visual content.
My memoir, What I Gave to the Fire, is available in both print and Kindle formats on Amazon.com.