A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The benefits of self publishing

So yesterday, we talked about the advantages of having an agent. Today, I'm going to talk about the pros of self publishing. Now to be clear, there is a difference between indie publishing and self publishing. Self publishing means you do it all yourself. Indie publishing generally means you're working with a small, independent publisher that doesn't have the power of the Big 6 and leaves you in full control of your works.

There are a lot of pros for self publishing. The first one of course is speed. Instead of waiting two years for your book to get out, you can have an e-book published in a few weeks and a POD print copy of your book doesn't take much longer. You get to set your own time frame too. You can plan how often you want to sell, when you want to publish, etc.

You get more control over the planning, editing, and publishing of your book. You're also in charge of the marketing, which is a pro and con in and of itself. Decisions are made and managed by the author. Part of the marketing is building your platform. You don't have to do it as someone else dictates. You can set it up however you want. When it comes to editing, you have the autonomy to pick whoever you want to edit and review your book. You can choose your own beta readers and find the editor that you think will work best for you.

You retain all the rights to your work. You don't have to worry about needing permission to publish your back stock. You don't have to ask permission to sell on different sites. You can republish old works if you want. You can reach your desired audience by a simple act of advertising in the right places. You can work individually with foreign distributors to get your books on more virtual bookshelves.

There's no excess inventory. You don't have to worry about warehouses full of unsold books that may potentially cost you money out of your royalties. You can sell copies of your books as they're requested and not have to worry too much about the print costs to you.

When you make a sale, you keep the majority of the profit. A lot of publishers take a large cut, and this is due to the amount of overheads they have. If you self publish your overheads are reduced, though not done away with completely since you do still have to pay for the utilities and other services you may purchase, and can get a bigger portion of the money.

Another benefit of self publishing is that your book gets more shelf time. The shelf life of a traditionally published book is thirty to sixty days in a bookstore. Once that's done, your book either gets sent back to the publisher or moved on to other places. Some remain there, but are moved to a different spot on the shelf so you aren't going to get as much exposure as you do online.

There are cons to everything so take some time to look up the cons for yourself. There are some definite differences that may or may not cause you to rethink the process. Just as there are cons for agents and indie publishing. As always, do the research and make up your own mind.

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