If you’re considering writing a book, or have already started one, you might eventually come to the Crossroads of Publishing.
At this crossroads in your journey as an author, you might feel the pressure to decide whether or not to pursue traditional publishing or go the sometimes wacky and wild route of self-publishing. In my own journey, I decided to self-publish and promote my first book. Though I don’t regret the decision by any means, I learned over time that both avenues have their merits and sticky points.
Here are 6 things you should know about self-publishing before you make the leap:
It’s a LOT of work.
This probably isn’t a huge surprise but yep, self-publishing takes time and effort. That’s because you are essentially doing everything yourself. No publisher is helping you out or taking on any of the designing, editing or marketing; it’s all you, baby.
If you outsource anything, be prepared to invest quite a bit of money.
If you don’t want to do everything yourself, you can opt for paying people to design your cover, do a thorough edit of your manuscript and blast it on social media…but it’s going to cost you. I paid about $50 for 2 cover options from a Fiverr designer, but that was the cheap option. Spending lots of money on self-publishing is also a big gamble because you never know how successful your book will be.
You get to decide how much money you make.
The good news is, when you self-publish, you get better royalties because you’re not giving a chunk away to your overlord. You also get to set the price on how much your book sells for.
Prepare yourself for never shutting up about your own book, ever.
A large part of selling a book is marketing. So I hope you’re comfortable with bringing your book up in every random conversation you have. You have to champion yourself as an author because, until you start getting positive reviews from readers, the only person who can hype your book up is you.
You make the final call on creative choices.
Want a dolphin wearing a party hat on the cover? Cool, you can do that. Want pictures in sepia? It’s your call. When you self-publish, you’re the boss so you get to make the rules when it comes to creative choices. That applies to the text too; you won’t have to cut things you don’t want to like a traditional publisher might request.
You can go as fast or as slow as you want.
You set the pace. You can write for 3 months straight and then take a year to chill before you publish because no publisher is hounding you for that final chapter. You’re not required to wait until a certain time of year if you want to go ahead and publish your fantasy sequel.
I think self-publishing is a great option for go-getter types that want more control over their writing and publishing process. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows but it’s a great way to feel inspired and hey, when your book is out there, you’ll know it was all thanks to you!