Self publishing has changed the game taking ‘unknown’ writers straight to the top of the New York Times best sellers list. Most of the stigma that was associated with self-publishing no longer exists and many traditional publishers are finding their world threatened with this growing industry. Writers have decided to take their fate into their own hands and are yielding much success. With all good things comes both the pros and the cons and I came up with a bit of information on them both. Neither traditional or self publishing is a cake walk and one requires more work but yields more financially. Taking the “I have good news and bad news” approach I’ve decided to start with the Cons.

  • More Work: Real self publishing means you must do all of your own leg work. Before you are able to start the actual printing process you have to first copyright your work. Next you must apply for your ISBN number and bar codes. This is a bit tricky simply because each book may require more than one ISBN depending on your options. Hardcover, softcover and ebooks all require their own ISBN #. You will also need to apply for a Library of Congress number if you want your book to be cataloged by libraries. All of these steps must be done before your book is actually ready to go to a printer. Next you are required to create your own book covers. I primary work on urban fiction so any of the book cover designers I provided in my previous blog would be great. However, if you are writing in a different genre you may have to do a little research because your book cover sells books. Many writers aren’t aware of typesetting for their work. Typesetting is needed if you want your book to be perfectly aligned and to flow naturally. It makes sure you use the correct fonts throughout your story and that chapters are all done perfectly it may also provide your chapters and headings with a little personality.
  • Upfront Cost: If you are self-publishing you will be responsible for all of the upfront cost of publishing. This is generally handled by a traditional publisher. Though you may be excited about publishing please take into account the actual cost of publishing and marketing of your work. Being unprepared will cause your project to stall and may cause lots of wasted expenses. With today’s economy no one has money to just throw into the trash(If you do please let me know where you keep your trash)
  • Extended Timeframes: Authors who are published traditionally don’t see how much work actually goes into creating their work. Self publishing may take a bit more time to complete because of the learning curve. My personal opinion is to begin working on your self publishing project as you are writing your story. This is the best method because you will have most of your project complete when you are done. The only thing you will need to wait on will be the copyright because you have to submit your finished work to the U.S Copyright Office.
  • Editing: Many writers are not the best English students. Editing is the most important part of your story. It can prevent people from reading your work or getting to the good part of your plot. When I finished my first book the first thing I did was hire a professional editing services. It cost a few hundred dollars but was priceless. Self publishing has already gotten a bad rep primarily because it’s authors do not take this necessary step. traditional publishers generally edit their writers work for them but self publishing means you are your own publisher love your craft enough not to disrespect it with a poorly done finished product.

The Good News: Self Publishing Pros

  • More Control: Where there is control there is power. When you self publish you own the rights to your content. This means if you want to sell your story to Hollywood to create a movie you can. No asking your publisher for permission because you are your own publisher. You also have the ability to brand your story by adding character related products to sell. Your book can turn into a profitable business. You can control the price of your book, which means it won’t be overpriced, which generally turns away buyers who can buy well-known titles for much less. You can also control what your cover looks like. This step will determine if your book will actually sell so its important and only you know how you want your book to look.
  • Higher Earnings: Self publishers make more money in the long run. They don’t have to share their profits with a publisher and an agent. After the cost of printing is subtracted per book traditional publishers take their cut. Then the cut of the agent is subtracted leaving the writer with change per book sold. Self publishers are able to keep more of their profits. More profits means more time for the things you want to do,

like vacationing on a sunny beach. Or sipping margaritas with friends and family all from your creativity. what could be better than that? Self publishing is definitely not for the faint of heart but it can yield substantial income if done correctly. I don’t know about you but I’m ready to make it big!!


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