Self publishing book? Lots of authors (even established writers who have gone the traditional route with previous works) are considering it. You should too.
Just take a look at my story. My reasons for self publishing book had nothing to do with
being rejected by big name publishers, as most people assume when they ask (usually with an attitude, who my publisher is). In fact, even though my first book was printed way back in 2004, I never sent out submissions of my manuscript.
I had a vision for my book and I wanted to make sure that every word, both in the book and its marketing materials were in concert with this vision. I wanted complete control over
my creation—I wanted to decide how the cover and the layout would look. I
want to build my baby from start to finish and then some.
Am I a control freak?
No (well, maybe just a little). For me, though, it was less about control than remaining true to my vision.
Of course I also wanted to remain true to myself. After all, this was my baby. This book contains my philosophy of parenting—why it's essential to raise children to be authentic to themselves. Because I truly believe in my work, I could not entrust its care to some behemoth who might be more concerned with profit than staying true to the book's core idea.
Speaking of profit, this is the other side of the coin. One of the big reasons for self publishing book is that you get to keep a larger percentage of the pie. If you have the savvy, creativity, moxie and the time to promote your book toward commercial success, this wider profit margin can make the difference between working and writing on the side and becoming a full time author.
Now that we've examined some important benefits of self publishing
book, let's take a look at two of the biggest traditional publishing
Myth #1: Big name publishers will make my book successful. The truth is that big name publishers will only risk their money on a book they think will be successful (which isn't much of a risk at all.) Understand that what is important here is that this is very different than making a book into a success. Like a self publisher, you will have to hit the road to promote your book. Unfortunately, your publisher is unlikely to pick up the tab.
In the September 2003 issue of The Writer,
Jessica Hatchigan said, "Bestsellers are made, not born." With self
publishing, you can fashion your book's success from the very beginning.
Success comes from doing the
research, knowing your market, understanding their problems and offering
them practical solutions. (This is why self-published "how-to" books
are typically more successful than fiction.) Learn how to fashion your
book for success by reading the ebook I followed: self publishing book - it will teach you how to write a book that provides real value to your readers, making it easy and natural for people to buy your book.
Myth #2: Big publishers will give me an advance so I'll have
money to promote my book. In Jessica Hatchigan's article, she says, "Unfortunately, authors who receive modest advances for their books –
and that’s most authors – can expect scandalously little in marketing
support from most publishers." (One insider recently told me that many publishing houses today, because their profit margins are so thin, don’t even bother to send out review copies of their newbie authors’ books.) Talk
about a myth buster. What a statement on the state of affairs in big
publishing. Many big publishers don't even bother to send out review
copies of new author's books! How, then, are reviewers supposed to
Are you beginning to see the light? If you're going to spend your time and hard earned money promoting your book for a big name publisher and making only $1 or $2 on the sale of each copy, why not do it yourself and make 5-10 times as much?
And for just a moment, let's not limit ourselves to talking about money. Think about the value of owning the rights to your work. If you self-publish, you keep those rights. If you go with a big name publisher, you give it all away. Ultimately, what this means is that you can re-purpose your work. You can expand it and sell it again or you can cut it up into smaller works and sell those too. Re-purposing is where the real money is at because you do the writing once, but sell the work in many different ways.
In my estimation, these few reasons are reason enough to learn the book business inside and out and begin the self publishing book process. If you're ready, don't make the mistake of re-inventing the wheel and slowing down the process. Instead, follow my lead and let me guide you through the process. To start, read my recommendations for self publishing resources that work.
If you liked this article, please share it on social media.
About the author
Laura Ramirez is the author of the multiple award-winning parenting book - Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting. She has self-published two traditional books, a number of ebooks and a DVD-series.