We have heard how great self-publishing is, it can give you control of your book (your own destiny if you will) and at the same time increase your profits (or increase your losses). But is it really so great? Are there any downsides or disadvantages to going to self-publishing and going it alone as an author? The answer is yes, everything has its pros and cons and you need to know the cons before you proceed so you can make the right decision for you.
Everything is in Your Hands
If you have decided to opt for self-publishing your book, then you should be ready to multitask big time. Compared with traditional book publishers, they have editors, printers, layout artists, cover artists who are available and ready to work for them anytime. But as a self-publishing author you would have to handle all of these tasks yourself and if you cannot do it all, you have the option to get or hire somebody who can. These are services that can cost you big time. But even if you outsourced the work, you will still need to oversee it and make sure that it meets your standards.
Time could be a major problem for some self-published authors. There are some writers who have part-time day jobs and would need to fit a self-publishing schedule to their time. Even marketing and promotion fall into your hands.
In traditional publishing, the writer would get as much as 5 to 10 % of the sales. But in self-publishing, you can increase the profit to as much as 50 %. But the downside is that you would have to subsidize everything beforehand. It is a risk. You can spend about $5,000 for self-publishing a single book, but you cannot guarantee that it everything will be returned to you when you start selling your books – if they sell at all.
Most of the times, you would need to get a distributor since book sellers are not that willing to buy books directly from the author. The author would have to give discounts to the distributor and any stores willing to sell the book, this would be less than your expected 50 % profit. Another problem would be when the book does not sell that much. Aside from less profit, some bookstores would return the book and ask for a refund and in the case of a self published author it would be YOU providing the refunds. Some self-publishers would draft a contract that would not allow returns and refund, but most booksellers would require a lower price or in some cases – no payment at all (usually called “consignment”).
Competition can be tough. Readers would not easily buy your book since their is no large publisher backing you and may not be well known. You will need to give them a reason to buy your book over books with the same topic. Marketing and publicity could be a key. And you would have to spend money on that, too.
Another problem that self-publishers encounter is the reputation and credibility of being self-published. There are some readers who do not regard self-published books highly. Sad to say, some people are extremely biased against self-published authors, thinking that just because major publishing houses have refused the author, it means the book is not good enough or poor in quality.
They say that a book is like a writer’s own child. It would be difficult to criticize and disparage your own kid, right? Because authors would have to do everything, editing included, it can be difficult to be objective all the time. They can protect parts that are not really important or aesthetically weak. They can have difficulties letting go of some parts which are totally insignificant. That is why we have editors. But if an author would be his own editor, then there can be biases.
Self-publishing is a risk, you can spend a lot of money but the returns could be low. But come to think of it, everything is a risk. Risk is part of success.
Isabella Media Inc, is a Rhode Island-based, family-owned, mainline publishing organization with a mission to discover unknown authors. We combine unknown authors’ undiscovered potential with Isabella Media Inc’s unique approach to publishing and provide them with the highest quality books and the most inclusive benefits package available. Isabella Media Inc was formed to serve you, the author, as a traditional, mainline royalty publishing company and provide a platform for unknown authors. We listen to your feedback and create a collaborative atmosphere with our authors in the belief that you’ll come back to us with your next book. To get started with your book contact us.