Self-publishing is not simply the domain of hobby authors. It’s a professional option for people from all walks of life who want to share their work and ideas, promote their business, and even make a profit! New developments such as print-on-demand technology mean it’s easier than ever to make the book you want and set it up for sale. So what are you waiting for?
1. Complete Creative Control
The expansion of the self-publishing industry has empowered creative professionals in all industries to get their work out into the world, the way they always envisioned it—without compromise.
Signing up with a traditional publisher means you relinquish this creative control—your creative vision becomes subject to the agenda and priorities of your publishing house. You also usually forfeit the rights to your content. A publisher owns the work once they’ve purchased it, and they get to determine what becomes of it—how, when, and how much it’s printed, etc. As a self-publishing author, the only person who has any say over your title, cover design, layout, and content destiny is you.
2. Speedy Set-up
Traditional publishing takes a long time. Many projects are in the works for two years or more. Self-publishing creates copies for your fans much faster, and you are also free to move on to your next project whenever you’re ready. Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your self-published book, all that’s left to do is upload your file, choose where you want to sell, and your self-published book can be available within days or weeks (maybe months if you go with offset printing) for your fans and followers to buy. Taking a traditional publishing route can mean you wait years for your book to appear on the shelves, depending on things like how long it takes to find a publisher, contract negotiation and the editing and revision process.
3. Get Global Reach
As a self-published author, you retain all rights to your work, meaning you (and only you!) can set your book up for sale on any channel, in any country, in any format—audio, ebook, and/or print. You decide where and when to sell your self-published book and how to promote it, empowering you to reach as many people as possible. No one knows your friends, fans, and followers as well as you do, so you can not only market to them the way you see fit, but you reap all the rewards. You keep all the profit from your efforts and you’re in charge of how far your project goes.
Read more about your legal rights and responsibilities as a self-publishing author—Protect Your Work.
4. You Know Your Tribe
You might find that traditional publishers decide your book’s subject is too niche for them to take on, but you know you’re not alone in your passion. As a self-published author, you can make and sell a book on any topic you choose from Meji Japanese Art to mustaches, as one stroll through the Blurb Bookstore will demonstrate. There’s an audience out there who shares your passion—and you can find them by self-publishing. Once you find that niche, it’s all yours!
5. Learn New Skills
Self-publishing a book means you’re responsible for every element of the publishing process from editing, proofreading, and book design, to marketing and order fulfillment. You may be an expert in your content, but you’ll get a chance to build new self-publishing muscles in fields like book design, social media, and marketing. There’s no denying self-publishing takes hard work, but it’s also a great opportunity to take on a new challenge and beef up your skills portfolio. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or embarking on your first self-publishing project, there’s a wealth of help, support, and advice available to help you go from great idea to self-published book in no time. Consider outsourcing some of the bigger tasks like PR, Marketing by connecting with Reedsy.
Self-publishing a book is not simply the domain of hobby authors. It’s a professional option for people from all walks of life who want to share their work and ideas, promote their business, and even make a profit! New developments such as print-on-demand technology mean it’s easier than ever to self-publish the book you want and set it up for sale. So what are you waiting for?
Have any tips for first-time self-publishers? Share them in the comments below!