Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Self Publishing

Have you written a story and tossing around the idea of self publishing it? It's a scary idea, really. Or at least it should be.

I consider myself a 50/50 author. I self publish and I use small press. I began to self publish a little over a year ago, and to be honest, I enjoy it and have thought about doing it more than I am now. Some authors have great luck with, while others's I've talked to haven't. So again, it's 50/50 if it's for you or not.

I thought for today's post, I would make a Pros and Cons list on self-publishing that might help you with your tough decision.

  • You're in complete control. You choose your release date. You choose your editor (PLEASE HIRE ONE!) You find the cover artist that you want.
  • Does your book need a sale to possibly get in more readers hands. Put it on sale. 
  • You've got full control. Need to make changes to the manuscript? You can easily do this and upload a new version. Want a new cover because yours isn't working. Get a new one. 
  • Obviously, all money earned is yours. And after 60 days, you will get a paycheck monthly from Amazon and Nook. You'll know what's coming so you can plan your months 60 day in advance.

  • All expenses are out of your pocket. You pay for edits. You pay for the cover. You pay for marketing (thought few small presses pay for book tours. But there are some out there that will.)
  • It's all you telling the world about your book, unless you've hired a blog tour company or a PR person.
  • If you've never published small press and gotten to know some authors you might feel super lonely trying to connect. Most of the relationships I've built have been from my time at a small press.
  • Each publishers pay different. Some are monthly, some quarterly. You don't see your sales until you have a statement. And you earn a percentage of the net sales. Remember though, your profit is paying the publisher and your editor, so you're usually only getting 40% of what's earned on the book. 

Hopefully looking at those lists, you'll get a better idea if you want to attempt self publishing. Two pieces of advice I have are:
  • If this is your first time publishing, I really do recommend going with small press because you will learn so much about the publishing world. Even if you want to self publish one day, give the small presses a shot at first. And ask around before submitting to just any press.
  • If you self publish, please, I am begging you, hire an editor! Do not put your work out there without one. Reviews will come in and will say your book wasn't edited. This isn't good for your career. And your best friend since second grade isn't an editor (well unless they really are). Hire someone who knows point of view, what readers are looking for, and so on. Yes, it can be a lot of money out of your pocket, but in the end it's worth it.

See ya next Thursday! Got pros or con to add, please leave a comment. :)