Self or Indie or Independent Publishing has a lot of people wondering which type of publishing they should do. For some, it is better to be traditionally published because it means that you have a company backing you. There are down sides on both sides of the scale, but today I’m going to take you through the pros and cons of self-publishing.
#1 Higher rates received per book (royalty rates)
You will never receive the same amount if you decide to be traditionally published. You can get royalties as high as 70% per book, depending on which Indie Publisher you use.
#2 You choose your deadlines
You don’t have to rush yourself which can cause you a lot of stress and burn out. You can set your own deadline if you want, but you don’t have to worry about any contracts that have been signed that you need to keep to.
#3 You are always number 1
Traditional publishers are busy with many different authors and you will land up being in that pile. When you are Indie Published, you are always number 1 in your own eyes when it comes to publishing. If your book doesn’t do as well as the next person, they may also start to neglect you. You would never neglect yourself that way.
#4 It’s all up to you
That means that you have the last say on the cover design, the blurb, formatting and the content. In traditional publishing, you hardly have a say in most of those matters.
#5 Write what you enjoy
It sometimes happens in traditional publishing that you are forced to write in a genre that you don’t want to. In Indie publishing, you can write whatever you want. You can even write in different genre’s if you like. Which means you also don’t have to write something that you don’t want to write. So, if you’ve written the first book and don’t want to do the second one in the series at that point, then you can do so, but if you have a contract, then you are locked in.
#6 It’s all yours
The rights to your work remains yours. You don’t have to worry that it belongs to a publishing company or that you need permission to create an audio copy of your book or have it translated into a different language.
#7 When to publish is up to you
If you want to write and then publish your novel in two months, then you can. You don’t have to wait for a publisher to do it for you. You can even rapid release four novels back to back if you want to. It’s completely up to you.
#8 No querying
You don’t have to wait ages for a publisher to publish and print your book. You also don’t have to worry about being rejected over and over again.
#9 Feeling accomplished
It is amazing feeling that you did everything to get your book to were it’s at. It was all your ‘blood, sweat and tears’ as they say.
#1 It’ not just writing
It’s not just writing a book, you also have to market yourself quite aggressively. You need to get editors, cover designers and formatters. It’s also knowing if the cover is a good cover or not. You need to get beta readers and an ARC team together, as well as proof readers. When you financially can, it would be very helpful getting a PA to help you with all these things so that you can focus on writing.
#2 Brick & mortars are not easy to get into
Publishers can get your book into bookstores easily, but as an Indie author, it’s a lot more difficult. Not impossible, but difficult and it’s a dream for authors to see their book in a bookstore.
#3 The amount being sold can be better than higher profits per book
This means that sometimes it’s better to have lower royalty rates per book when there is so many copies of your book being sold. Traditional Publishing houses will be able to sell large volumes of your book and this might make up for the lower royalty rates received from them.
#4 You miss out on networking
An established publishing company will know who to put you in contact with if you want to shop your books TV rights. Also, if you are a successful author, they will probably pay for you to do book signings, conferences or various other events. This is one of the best perks of being traditionally published.
#5 Finding freelance editors, etc. can be a problem
It is not always an easy job to find people that you can depend on, or who will do their job properly. This can cause a lot of headaches for you as an author.
#6 It never stops
You will find that you’ll be editing your one novel while writing your next novel. You also need to juggle all your marketing and social media marketing in between all of this. It is a lot of work, so be prepared for this if you go this route.
#7 There’s still a bit of a stigma attached
Booktubers or other Instagram influencers have been known to refuse to work with Indie Authors. Also, a lot of the general public wonders why you had to publish yourself and if you were maybe not good enough for a traditional publishing house. This stigma is mainly there because there is no limit on who can self-publish and this means that there are many unpolished novels out there which means that people can get lost and frustrated when searching for books.
#8 It costs money
You need to pay for an editor, cover designer, proof reader, formatter, your advertising costs and getting your proofs. There are ways that you can cut corners on certain things, but you will still need to give money out. If you’re traditionally published, then you will not have to hand out this money up front, it will be taken from the profits of your book sales.
#9 If it fails, you are to blame
Due to you being the person in charge of everything, if it goes belly up, then you are to blame for it. You don’t have a publishing house to hide behind or blame.
I hope this helps you with your decision a little more. Be strong and push through.
That’s it from me for now…
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