A writer’s journey can be compared to a roller coaster ride, with plenty of highs and lows. As a writer, you will experience phases of self-doubt, as well as high levels of ecstasy and fulfillment. Unlike in the past, when writers touted their manuscripts with much nervousness and uncertainty, now you can self-publish your book with ease, and at your own pace.
As a new author with a manuscript or a dream, you must choose between two divergent roads to publish your book. The first is the path to a traditional publishing house. The second is the route to becoming an independent, self-publishing author. There will always be highs and lows in publishing, but the second road is fast becoming the well-traveled one for many new authors thanks to the internet and online communities.
How to Publish Your Book Using a Traditional Publishing Firm
Traditional publishing involves collating and processing your manuscript with a firm that buys the right to publish your book. The publisher handles all the different book publishing stages: editing, proofreading, designing, printing, publishing, packaging, and marketing. The publisher bears all the costs, and the writer gets a small percentage of the book sales as royalties.
On the other hand, when self-publishing, the writer absorbs most of the cost of the different phases of publication until the book is uploaded on a self-publishing platform. After which, the writer is still responsible for most of the marketing and promotion.
So, as a writer who wants to publish your first book, which road do you prefer? Do not choose yet; let’s first learn a bit more about the benefits of being a self-publishing author.
Advantages of Self-Publishing
#1. It saves time.
When a book’s content is time-sensitive, self-publishing is the appropriate option. Publishing a book via traditional publishers is most time-consuming. It takes time to find a willing book agent, who will then search for a suitable publisher for your book. This process can take months, or even years. So, self-publishing is the quick way to turn your manuscript into a book and get it in the hands of your readers in the shortest amount of time.
#2. You make the decisions.
Self-publishing allows you to be the sole decision-maker during the different publishing phases. From the interior formatting to the book cover design, as well as the marketing—it’s all your choice. You can choose to hire professional help to get the best results, but you ultimately have the final say. So, be creative, do your research, be open to innovation, accept expert suggestions, do things right, and get your book out to your readers in your own way. Remember, in traditional publishing, your publisher makes all these decisions—often even changing your title!
#3. Expect a higher royalty from book sales.
As stated in the Ins and Outs of Self-Publishing, most writers earn a low percentage of royalties from their book sales. This is not the case for self-published authors. Most self-published authors earn 35-90% of their book sales as a royalty. The self-publishing platforms encourage writing as an occupation as opposed to traditional publishing houses. You can save 50% of your royalty sum to publish your next book and/or run a few social media ad promotions. This is a very effective strategy for new authors.
#4. It allows you to set your book price.
As a self-publishing author, you set your book’s retail price to suit you. Since you are financially responsible for publishing the book, you have all the right to adjust the book price to cover your costs. However, it is best that you consider and understand pricing models. Don’t underprice or overprice your book, so as not to disrupt your sales.
#5. You face no issues of rejection.
Agents and publishers get bombarded with lots of manuscripts, and they can only pick a few good books to publish per season. With these traditional publishing arrangements, many authors’ works get neglected, overlooked, and rejected. Yet, the path of a self-publishing author overrides the submission and selection process. It is an excellent way for manuscripts (dreams) to turn into books (reality): no competition, no selection, and no rejection.
#6. You easily target your audience.
As a self-publishing author, you have the opportunity to specifically target your audience with every decision you make while publishing your book. Learn and understand the importance of book cover colors, niche selection, synopses, and keywords research. With these, you are a few clicks away to selling your book. Also, social media marketing and branding can play critical roles in targeting your readers. Self-publishing is an excellent option for niche experts and new authors.
#7. Take advantage of social media marketing support.
With a strategic marketing plan for your book on social media platforms, you stand to engage more reading communities compared to previous print and audiovisual marketing methods. Self-publishing gives your book leeway to the appropriate audience using SEO and hashtags. Maximizing other digital formats like PDFs, audiobooks, and e-books will further increase your audience reachability.
#8. It is a safe option.
As a writer who wants to publish your first book, self-publishing is a great option. It removes the fear and doubts that come along with traditional publishing. With some detailed online research and a self-publishing coach who knows the ins and out of publishing, you can publish the right way, even as a new author. It also allows you to receive feedback from readers and suggestions for your next book or sequel.
#9. Start building your brand.
Self-publishing can enhance your personal or business brand. Learn how to align and blend yourself with your book(s). When this happens, you begin to attract a following and grow your authority on social media. Self-publishing may be a game-changer for you, your business, or your career.
#10. It is an opportunity for growth.
The entire process of self-publishing offers you an opportunity to grow and network. The decisions you make during the different publishing phases constitute valuable experiences for subsequent projects. Don’t hesitate and get started with your first book now.
In conclusion, I recommend the path of self-publishing to every author, especially the new ones.
One way to become a great writer is to keep writing: write short stories, blogs, poems, love letters, and self-publish them. Take time to study the industry and find a mentor. Grow your brand on social media, network with other writers, and join online communities for readers and writers.
When you do these things, and they become a part of your daily routine, you will discover ways to improve your craft and learn how you can monetize and leverage your skill of writing. With consistent effort, you stand an excellent chance to becoming successful as a self-published author.
Of course, you might encounter a few bumps along the way. So, I am offering my expertise to help you manage any setbacks on your self-publishing journey. I am a bestselling independent author, and I can guide you to becoming one too in the near future.
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