I recently wrote a self-publishing guest post for indie author, Theresa Sopoko. I wrote the article in a bid to convince myself that self-publishing is the way to go. While everyone secretly wants to be published by one of the Big 5, I’ve finally begun to see that the advantages to self-publishing are actually pretty great (if you put in the hard yaka that is) – and what better way to demonstrate that than with a few cats thrown in for good measure!
- Stigma, what stigma?
The stigma surrounding self-publishing isn’t as bad as it used to be (for a million and one reasons that you’ll read below) – sometimes you can’t even tell when you’re reading a self-pubbed book!
- Creating your own covers is fun
If you’ve seen some of my earlier blog posts you’ll know that I’m obsessed with creating book covers – even before I’ve finished the novel! I create all of mine on canva.com – if you’re on a budget they have free templates and images, but you can also buy incredible images for a reasonable USD$1 (24 hour license)
- Self-publishing can be the safer option
It can be risky signing a book deal with a small publisher or vanity press, especially if you don’t have an agent to help you negotiate the contract. It can often end in disaster – see Writer’s Beware, Preditors & Editors and the absolute write forums for news on bogus publishing companies.
- There are so many ways for Indie authors to get out there and touch base with their readers
Hello social media! Writer’s can utilise wonderful inventions such as blogs, email lists and even YouTube vlogs! There are so many ways to create and nurture a fan base. I really don’t know how Indie authors coped back in 1975 – where there any?
- You no longer have to freak out at the word ‘marketing’
Marketing can be a good thing! Even traditional authors have to take charge of marketing their book, but compared to traditional authors, Indie authors have the final word on promotions and deals (as well as earning higher royalties!) Want to market your book for free and get thousands of people to download your book in a 48 hour window? Go ahead! On the other hand, publishing houses must keep all of their novels at a fixed price point (otherwise they would be forced to reduce all of their book prices, which is something they aren’t prepared to do.)
- Traditional authors see the benefits too!
While getting published by one of the big name publishing houses would be a dream come true, even traditionally published authors are switching sides and realising the benefits of self-publishing – like higher royalties and more money. Some authors find their sales increase tenfold just by going indie! Side note: if you’re lucky enough to get a traditional publishing contract, I say grab hold of that and run for your life!
- Indie books become best sellers and get movie deals– Well hey there Fifty Shades of Grey.
And have you heard of The Martian? I still can’t believe that it was originally self-published! Like far out that’s insane. When everyone tells you that they are the exception, not the rule, I say to hell with that! Self-publishing may open doors you never believed possible…
- Don’t let the big dogs intimidate you
A huge benefit that people often overlook is that ratings and reviews are the key to opening your book to the world – not always the big name publishing houses. In this technologically advanced age of Print on Demand (P.O.D) like createspace and online publishing platforms like Amazon, most readers don’t even look at the ‘published by’ section. I firmly believe a book needs good ratings and reviews to be succesful – traditionally published books fail too!
- You’ve got the power
And perhaps most importantly of all, there is no publisher or limiting contract to deal with – you have the power to write what you want, when you want and you can even publish as quickly as you please! No more waiting 18 months to get your novel published – though I do recommend spending a good amount of time on editing. Remember, every time someone self-publishes a perfectly polished, beautiful book, the Indie author cred increases!
If you’re doing NaNoWriMo – get your laptop out, do those 1,667 words a day, finish that novel and start thinking about self-publishing!
I’m also doing NaNoWriMo, and if you’d like a buddy, you can find me on the site as: Millieschmidt
Looking forward to seeing you there!