For almost every writer out there, self-publishing is the right answer. But self-publishing is not the "easy" way forward by any means. It's definitely a different way forward that offers most authors compelling reasons to do it.
So why do we recommend self-publishing?
There are a number of reasons why self-publishing is the right answer, but the biggest one is time. A typical self-published author can put out two to three titles a year or more. When you're at the mercy of an agent and publisher, you're lucky to get a book out every three years. But it is a different business model (and anyone who tries to tell you that being an author isn't a business is not in the right industry). And, as Tucker Max, co-founder of Scribd explains, the only difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing is who owns the royalties.
Self-Publishing Is More than Just Writing
Self-publishing requires you to wear multiple hats, but the trade off is creative control and creative rights to everything you write. That doesn't mean you don't need an editor, a cover designer, and a proofreader - because you definitely do. It just means that the ROI for any investment you make in writing, improving, and creating your book will come back to you. So what will you be doing besides writing? Marketing.
Here's a Secret Publishers Don't Want You to Know
The biggest role outside of writing that you will need to manage is marketing your ebook. But guess what? Even if you decide to publish with a traditional publisher, you'll still be expected to market your books. So why not do it in your own way? In your own time? With your own style in a way that lets you really connect with your readers?
We recommend that you start marketing as soon as you know you're going to write a book. Don't wait for it to be published. We have a number of resources to help you market your books. We also provide an interface so that you can sell your books directly from your own website using EditionGuard's storefront - and still have the right to list it with every other fulfillment center you want to.
The other big responsibility you'll have when you choose to self-publish is outsourcing. You'll need to hire your own cover creator, editor, and proof reader. Yes, some indie authors are skilled enough to create their own covers and do a magnificent job with it, and there are tools like Canva that make it easier than ever to do your own book covers. But some of your needs - whether it's building your website, creating your cover, or editing your book - will need to be outsourced. Want to know what's great about self-publishing? You get to choose who you work with. You're not stuck with publishing house staff who may or may not care about your thoughts about the book's cover or the changes they make.
Benefits of Self-Publishing
Unless you're a famous celebrity or politician who will get a million-dollar advance for your book, and often be provided with a ghostwriter to boot, self-publishing lets you tell your stories, your way. Most people who want to write books do it not for the money but for the joy of telling their story or sharing their expertise with the world. Other benefits include:
- Getting to keep all of your royalties
- Choosing where and how the book is published
- Working with creative collaborators of your choice
- Setting your own deadlines - or not - because you are not obligated to meet anyone else's time schedule
- Did we mention the part about getting to keep all of your royalties?
- Keeping the rights to your book - which can be a significant issue if someone wants to turn your book into a movie or you want to publish it in other countries.
How Do I Know If I Should Self-Publish?
For most people, it's an easy answer. If you are trying to build an income stream with your books that will sustain you for the long-term, you may benefit from keeping the rights and the royalties to them. Self-publishing is a business model. Even if your first book doesn't sell well, sales on the first book will increase with each subsequent publication. This allows you to plan, either for series of books, or for timely publishing of new books each quarter or year - with no one there to prevent you from moving quickly to establish yourself in your niche.
Getting Started with Self-Publishing
Maybe you wrote 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo and you don't know what your next step is. Or maybe you woke up this morning with the tickle of an idea in your head about what you might want to write. In either case, your first step is to start writing. And while you're doing that, you should also buy a domain URL in your author name and start building your website. If you've already started writing or you've finished your first draft, you should go through the manuscript a second time, but also start talking to potential editors and cover designers. If you're creating a series, you may want to start planning out when your next books in the series will be out.
EditionGuard's Self-Publishing Resources
We have an enormous library of resources to help you get started with self-publishing. Start with these resources from our library:
How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish an eBook?
Indie Marketing 101: Marketing Your eBook as an Indie Author
The Ultimate Indie Author Resource Guide Part 1: Marketing Your eBook
Make More Money Selling eBooks with Better Marketing
EditionGuard’s Learn Library has a vast selection of resources to help you write, edit, format, and market your ebook. We also help you sell more ebooks on your own website, where you control the price and keep all the profits. Learn more.