For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers
As a both a full time and a just-for-a-hobby writer, I find the entire of concept of self publishing most intriguing. I wouldn't say I'm the kind of writer that can stay committed to writing a novel for a year or more. I'm the type that's quite happy churning out several blogs and magazine content every day, while adding precious paragraphs to a novel I've been trying to write for a year whenever I feel the inspiration. (I'll have to admit that it's not more than a chapter or so...) But should I ever finish it, I would like very much to publish the final product. Coming from a family of writers, one of whom is a great deal closer than I am to completing her novel, I thought it would be interesting with this blog to outline the biggest highs of self publishing a novel.
'Self Publishing' Definition...
Self publishing, as defined by Wikipedia , is the publication of any book or other media by the author of the work, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher. The author is solely responsible and in control of the entire process which includes the design—both the cover and the interior, formats, pricing, distributing, marketing, and PR working. When an author chooses to self publish he can either run the entire process on his own, or he can outsource the entire thing or parts of it to other companies or individuals who offer the services he/she requires.
Why self publish?
Print Faster...Compared to the traditional methods of publishing, the time that it takes to run the entire process of making and marketing a book is cut smaller than half through self publishing. Publishers usually take a long time to even have your title available, but by self publishing your book is ready for marketing in just a couple weeks. Also, going by the traditional publication route, you would have to go find an agent before going through a publishing house. There's no saying how long that might take or how much that would cost. Agents usually charge about 10% to 20% on all sales. Which means that after all is paid and planned, printed and published you will only end up with about 5% or 25% in royalties. With self publishing it's goes up to 30% and 70%.
You can outsource the designing, cover art, and other stuff a lot quicker and don't have to wait on someone else's approval to do it. Publishing houses will usually make those decisions for you, as well as edit whatever content they believe will not sell. As a writer this is especially distressing, because, let's face it, who likes to rewrite their work after they've spent years on it? When you outsource you can get someone else to edit your work, another to market, to promote, to run press releases, and do video book trailers for you. There are loads of self publishing companies out on the market who pretty much put in all the elbow grease for you as far as self publishing a book. The good part with most of these self publishing companies is that you get to work with master minds who've been there, done that, and know how to help you best self publish.
Sell Better...As everybody in this day and age knows, time is of the essence when it comes to marketing and selling a specified product before something better comes along or the audience's taste buds change. There's an extremely small window of time when your creation is just perfect for your targeted audience, for allowing your product to gain fame. If you miss this window in time, it's extremely hard to gain it again.
As an example of the importance of the time factor for a writer, take the initial trilogy plunge into Star Wars that started in May 25th, 1977, and think how it would have been if we had it hit the market later on. 'A New Hope', 'The Empire Strikes Back', and 'Return of the Jedi' were jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring during the window of time when they were created. Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa where the hottest stuff around during their initial creation. But almost two decades later with the release of the prequel trilogy, we were less than amazed by the technology and charm of George Lucas in the past. It's not his fault. It's just that publishing the right story at the right time is what sells. However, we do have to hand it to him for his constant comeback content that is always up to date with the world of its time.
When you are self publishing a book golden opportunities are not missed because you can make sure that it hits the market in time. Most new authors who submit their work to a publishing houses come away feeling rejected because their novel just didn't take off like they thought and hoped it would. Most of these cases are usually because the novel didn't hit the self on time.
Another thing that makes self publishing more of the way to go is that you, as the author, own total rights over your manuscript. There are no middlemen involved. When you are going through a publishing house and promoting your book the traditional way, chances are that your book won't be shelved for longer than 18 months. This is normal time for a collection to be displayed. But as a new writer this may not be sufficient time for your title to reach out and build a wide enough fan family. Because you own total rights to your book you can market it online, print it on demand, and keep the title alive and available for purchase.