Series: Avenues of Publishing (Part II - Self-Publishing)
Have you ever thought about writing a book? Is it on your mind on a regular basis? Do you scroll through Instagram seeking writing programs, inspiration, and opportunities to put your best foot forward? If that’s you - this is the article for you. Take a deep dive into the world of self-publishing with us - perhaps we’ll uncover exactly what you need.
What does it look like to DIY/Self-Publish?
Self-publishing is, at its core, exactly what it sounds like. ‘You retain ownership of your book...you are the one responsible for managing and controlling the entire process.’ This ‘act of independently publishing your book on a platform...without the need of a traditional publishing house’ has recently skyrocketed. If you go this route, you’re in charge of it all. You handle the edits or finding yourself an editor. You handle the cover design, or seeking the artist. You handle the formatting, you handle the marketing, and you manage the upload (or whatever publishing platform you choose). If you’re able to contribute finances into those finishing touches like editing, marketing, and the like - then this is the platform for you. No queries, no agents, no searching for publishing houses; in this option you write your book, get it edited, jazz it up with cover and formatting, figure out the platform you on which you wish to upload, pop that publish button, and voila - you’re a published author.
Why take the Self-Publishing Route?
Consistently empowering new authors and bringing more voices to the universal table, self-publishing has opened doors, provided options, and offered a platform for publishing that many before saw as closed. This pay-as-you-need model allows writers an avenue to publication that may not have been available when the only way was the traditional way. Consider this process as a ‘choose your own adventure’ situation: You pay the people you need for what you need when you need it.
So, who chooses this one? If you’ve got a time sensitive book, do it. If you've gotten no bites from any of those traditional publishers you’ve gone after for some time, do it. Anyone in the ‘publish or perish’ sector of our world, give it a whirl. Perhaps your work is geared to an audience of hundreds instead of that of a greater number, go this route. However, keep in mind that most likely, ‘self-publishing is more expensive than traditional publishing….data puts the total cost...at around $2,000’. But, the plus side is that with savvy investing in yourself, and a greater percentage of those royalties, you could potentially get it back in the long run. It's more risk for a greater reward and of course, you fully retain the rights to your own work. And, if the reason you’re self-publishing is that you have a book inside of you that needs to come out, you have the finances to do it, and either are willing to deal with the hustle or care most about the fact that you’ve written that book and it’s out there, then keep it in mind for your future.
Why wouldn’t you take the Self-Publishing Route?
As is with everything in life, in the world of publishing we also have choices and is not the avenue for everyone. If you don't fancy learning the ins and outs of all things publishing (like marketing, social media, finances, and how to position yourself into that physical bookstore), you might want to consider traditional publishing. Also, most major book sellers for paper books will not set up a distribution deal with a self-published author, so you may struggle to get on the shelves at airports or in the chain book retailers. If self-promotion isn’t your jam, if your forte lies within the writing fold and not anything else that has to do with the publishing fold, then this might not be the way to go for you. Remember, choose your own adventure and you can always, always change your route along the way.
The important thing is to get your word out there. If self-publishing feels like the route that’s made for you - do it! Be your own boss, guide your own journey, get your support team in order and shoot for the moon. Your story is worth sharing. Listen to the wisdom of Albert Einstein: ‘There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s books and write your own.’ See you out there.