Is self publishing a book a valuable proposition? With the advent of digital platforms like Amazon, Lulu, Blurb, and other similar websites, self-publishing has gained popularity. But many budding authors still have unclear views on self publishing.
The trend of self-publishing quickly took off in 2008 and has shown a steady growth after that. But there is no statistics to prove that self publishing has taken over traditional publishing. Authors still like to choose traditional publishing over self publishing a book.
What is it that stops an author from self publishing? And what is it that inspires them to choose DIY publishing. Is self publishing a book a good idea? Let’s discuss the pros and cons of self publishing.
Pros of self publishing a book
Payment is more regular when self publishing a book
The cash flow is quicker and accounting more transparent in self publishing as compared to traditional publishing. In traditional publishing the royalty is paid every six months. In self publishing the author gets payment on a monthly basis. Also, according to many authors its difficult to estimate the exact royalty amount. Royalty cost in traditional publishing is accounted after deducting marketing, editing, and printing cost. With so many variables, royalty cost hugely differs from case to case.
So while self publishing a book the writer should be happy about quick money in hand.
Self publishing a book is a good idea if you are less patient. In traditional publishing, the whole cycle of editing, finding a publisher, and waiting for the printing to finish takes up to six months or one year. So self publishing a book is a wonderful idea if you want quick money and popularity.
Better control over your book
Self publishing a book is best for the writers who want to own every aspect associated with their book. From editing to creating the cover page, its all the onus of the author. Many authors have a creative bent and wish to self-design the cover page of their book, while others have flair for language and want to edit by self.
The main drive behind self publishing is to have a say in everything related to the book. It gives a sense of pride and authority which can’t be enjoyed in traditional publishing.
Cons of self publishing a book
Self publishing a book might lack professionalism
Self-published books may not appear to be as professional. In a traditionally published book, every aspect is handled by a specialist. Editing, cover design, marketing and publicity, are all specialized. While in a self published book, everything is managed by the author.
The author might be an expert in writing, but can lack expertise in other areas like editing, design, and marketing. Self publishing a book might offer a sense of pride and ownership but the end result might not look as competent as created by a traditional publisher.
Low Sales due to insufficient marketing
Although websites like Amazon do a tremendous task of marketing the self published books, the turnover might not be as high. This is mainly due to the fact that self published books are largely sold on the basis of recommendation. The popularity of such books depends on how strong a digital community. Author needs to create a strong digital network to sell his book.
Another major drawback that limits the sale of self-published books is the small size of the market. Self published books are mainly eBooks. A large number of people still want to buy physical books as digital reach is limited. Self publishing a book doesn’t guarantee strong marketing and promotion which are important to boost sales.
Conclusion: Self publishing a book is not a bad idea if you want to see instant result of your efforts. The perks might not be high but are definitely quick. Traditional publishing wins over self-publishing a book if you want to reach a larger audience and become extremely popular. Whether self publishing a book is great idea or not depends on your goal as an author.