Should you self-publish your book or find a publisher? These six benefits of self-publishing will help you decide if you should tackle the publishing world yourself, or keep knocking on traditional book publishers’ doors….
But first, a quip:
“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” ~ Mark Twain.
Good writing takes time and effort, fellow scribes! The quicker you get to the point, the better (but the more work it takes).
Once you’ve written your novel or nonfiction book, you need to decide if you should query one publisher at a time, or several at once. Should you send the whole manuscript, or just the first few chapters? Do you need an agent? Should you self-publish? What are the benefits of self-publishing, versus going with a traditional publisher?
Great questions! I can’t answer them all here, but I can help with the self-publishing decision. Here are six reasons to self-publish your novel or nonfiction book…
6 Benefits of Self-Publishing Your Book
“Self-publishing is not just for those who can’t get published by the New York houses,” writes Gavin Sinclair in Self-Publishing Fiction: From Manuscript to Bookstore and Beyond. “If you possess certain qualities, it can provide a more satisfying and more profitable route to the reading public.”
Sinclair offers these reasons or benefits for self-publishing novels or nonfiction books…
You have an original idea
It can be easier to sell your book to the public than to book publishers or agents. For a variety of reasons, publishers may not recognize an innovative idea…which means that self-publishing your novel or nonfiction book is a more effective (easier) way to get published.
You can market your book better than the publishing houses
If your book is one of many that a publisher is selling, it could get lost in the crowd. Self-publishing offers you the chance to sell, sell, sell – especially if you’re comfortable with marketing or have a writer’s platform. If you’re concerned about book marketing, read 6 Ways to Promote Your Book for Free – Book Promotion Tips.
You earn more money from your book sales
Ah, you gotta love that filthy lucre. If you self-publish your novel or nonfiction book, you’ll keep a bigger portion of the profit. A publishing house may not advance you much money, and can’t pay you the same amount as you’d earn publishing it yourself.
You want the challenge of self-publishing and marketing your book
“[Becoming a publisher] requires some hard work and imagination. It is also extremely rewarding,” writes Sinclair in Self-Publishing Fiction. “Creating a book from the blank page to finished product on the bookstore shelf is one of the most satisfying experiences imaginable.” Challenge and accomplishment are two benefits of self-publishing your book!
Your book is guaranteed to be published
Maybe you don’t have the time, energy, or discipline to find a literary agent, send out book proposals, and wait for months or even years for a response. By self-publishing your novel or nonfiction book, you guarantee that it becomes a “real” book.
You’re smart enough to avoid “subsidy” or “vanity” publishing houses
Sinclair advises writers to never pay anyone to publish a novel or nonfiction book. He recommends that you find a printer, lay out the book, and do all the groundwork that a vanity publishing house would do. Sinclair describes the whole self-publishing process in Self-Publishing Fiction. If you want to publish your novel or nonfiction book, it’ll be one of your most valuable resources.
A bestselling book on self-publishing in general is Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book.
For more tips on self-publishing fiction from Sinclair, read Self-Publishing Fiction: From Manuscript to Bookstore and Beyond.
If you have any thoughts or questions on these benefits of self-publishing your book, please comment below.