There’s a lot of snobbery in the air when someone mentions self-publishing. A lot of pursed lips and tut-tutting. It’s the last resort of a poor writer having been rejected by countless agents and publishers, isn’t it?
Many think so, sadly.
I’ve read a few SP books and loads of traditionally placed books and have found errors in both. Funny, they are called spelling errors in SP books, but printing errors in books with a publishing house behind them.
I suppose I’m biased having written and POD-published my last two books. I regret not finding a decent designer for the Eden but I discovered Jane Dixon for A Proper Charlie who supplies fantastic covers to your design at a great price.
Self-publishing, POD, vanity, Indie, whatever you call it is second best but only because you are editor, promoter, and writer all rolled into one neat ball, and being all of those is a lonely and time-consuming business (especially when all you want to do is write!).
The real downside is the confidence thing. You always wonder if, because you’re ON YOUR OWN, you’re good enough. It’s always there at the back of your mind.
I have made a list of the pros and cons of self-publishing to help you make up your mind.
Pros (the Latin word for “for”)
- The author keeps the majority of the profit.
- If you pay for an ISBN number you’ll automatically be on Amazon and other on-line shops.
- No-one can demand you change this or that before publication.
- An excuse to use social networks because you’re promoting your book.
- There’s no deadline to work to.
- Print on demand (POD) is cheap nowadays. No need to use an expensive vanity press.
- POD is easy and straightforward with sites like Lulu or YouWriteOn.com
- No more rejections.
- There is a lot of prejudice about being a POD/Indie/self-publisher. In the end this may get you down.
- You may find the entire process daunting. From the outside it does look difficult.
- You’re totally on your own. No-one cares about your book other than you.
- Marketing on social networks is one thing, but how are you at giving talks, book signings and getting shops like Waterstones interested in stocking your book?
- You risk having your book out in the big wild world with all its faults if you have not properly edited.
- Once you’ve self-published landing an agent or publisher with that particular book is very unlikely.
- Having a garden shed full of books (if you’ve chose vanity publishing).
- Lacking time. You want to write, not chase publicity.