Self-publishing the Pros and cons

When we writers finish our first book, we often face the big question: Should we pursue self-publishing or try our luck with traditional publishing? New authors should consider these Pros and Cons and read these other pages on my website before deciding between self-publishing and traditional publishing.

 

What Is Self-Publishing? 

Self-publishing is completing the entire book creation and publishing process—including printing, editing, proofreading, formatting, cover design, and book marketing without help but free using KDPs tools, or with paid help from a hybrid-publisher .

 

 Benefits of Self-Publishing 

Whether you’re writing a novel, short story collection, or nonfiction book, the self-publishing method offers you maximum creative control and the ability to pocket a greater share of the profits. Here are some of the advantages of self-publishing to consider when writing your next book:

 

  1. 1. Creative control:

One of the benefits of going the self-publishing route is the ability to retain full control over your book. The traditional publishing world is full of gatekeepers who will have opinions on the content, book cover, and even the title of your book. Self-publishing gives complete control over your book. If you want to hire a certain cover designer or format your book a certain way, your choice. 

 

  1. 2. Higher royalty rates:

In a traditional publishing deal, royalty rates usually hover between 7 and 25 percent. For independent authors, that number is closer to 70 percent. That means you can potentially make a greater amount of money than you would through the traditional publishing process if you have the same number of book sales.

 

  1. 3. Less waiting:

Once you’ve completed the hard work of writing your book, you’ll probably be eager to see it in bookstores and online. With self-publishing, the amount of time between the completed manuscript and the finished, sellable product can be less than a week. It can take less than six hours for your e-book to be uploaded to digital marketplaces, and print on demand (POD) services can be available in 24 hours.

 

  1. 4. An opportunity to make a name for yourself:

Nobody becomes a  bestselling author overnight. The bottom line is if you’re a first-time writer, it will be harder for you to attract the attention of the publishing industry anyway. Putting out your book as a self-publisher can help you attract a fanbase and build up an email list while also proving to potential publishers that you know how to write a book. Many successful authors got their start in self-publishing, and producing an underground hit on your own may attract the attention of traditional book publishers in the future.

 

Downsides of Self-Publishing 

Though there are many pros to self-publishing, there are some cons as well. Here are some disadvantages to self-publishing:

 

  1. 1. Less visibility:

One of the biggest advantages afforded to traditional publishers is a higher author platform for their writers. There’s a certain amount of validation and prestige that comes from being associated with a major publisher. Plus, the resources and visibility afforded to big publishing houses increase the likelihood of critical acclaim, literary prizes, and your book becoming a bestseller. If your ambition is to become a household name like J.K. Rowling, it will be harder to achieve that through self-publishing.

  1. .
  2. 2. Higher costs:

Traditional publishing services pay for editing, design, printing, and marketing costs for print books. With self-publishing, those upfront costs all rest on the author’s shoulders. Plus, publishing deals usually come with book deals and monetary advances. There’s no advance money for self-published authors. However do it yourself and the cost is zero.

 

  1. 3. No support system:

One of the biggest differences between traditional publishing and self-publishing services is that traditional publishers come with an arsenal of staff and resources who can help support your book. This means access to proofreaders, publicists, professional editing services. They can help turn your manuscripts to audiobooks or provide a detailed marketing strategy. There’s a whole team at your disposal, depending on your needs. With self-publishing, this is all work that falls to the author—or the freelancers you hire to handle things like book design and editing.

 

4. Harder to get print distribution:

Traditional publishers make their money by printing books and selling them to bookstores. Bookstores often have exclusive deals with major publishers, and it can be hard to penetrate major bookstores as a self-published author. If your definition of publishing success is to see your book in a major bookstore, that will be difficult to achieve through self-publishing. 

Tips for Editing

The following editing and writing tips can help your proofreading skills and make sure you catch all the errors in your final draft:

  1. 1. Edit a hard copy.

If you’re looking at your computer screen or reading off a cell phone for too long, chances are you’ll miss common errors. Editing from a printed copy is a proofreading technique that may allow you to see various misspellings and other punctuation errors you did not catch the first time through. A print out is less strenuous on the eyes, and can make it easier to find typographical errors. Also, be sure to check to page numbers for sequentiality. 

  1. 2. Double-check for homonyms.

Homonyms are words that sound alike but have different meanings. Sometimes it can be easy to overlook words like these and they can be easy to mix up.

  1. 3. Watch for punctuation errors.

As well as spelling errors,  special attention should be paid to misplaced apostrophes, commas, and other punctuation marks. Making sure to include endings to your parentheses and quotation marks is another error to look out for.

  1. 4. Read aloud.

Reading aloud can help you spot places for better word choice or improving sentence structure. Hearing the words you’ve written either by yourself or read by someone else may give you a new outlook.

  1. 5. Take a break. Walking away from the writing and coming back to it later with fresh eyes can greatly improve your ability to spot spelling mistakes and various other errors. Take a stroll outside, get a drink of water, to reset your mind and come back to it anew. 

“Designing the book cover

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!” We’ve all heard the phrase and we all know that’s impossible. Because the cover of a book is the first thing a potential reader sees—it should stop them in their tracks. It’s a very powerful marketing tool; having a well-designed book cover is crucial.

Below is a quick reference for how to design a great book cover.

 

1. Generate Ideas 

Look around at book covers in a bookshop and make notes or photos of elements you like . Typeface? Color?  image or  illustration or something typographic?

While you’re gathering inspiration, keep in mind what genre your book is and what book design is appropriate.

2. Find a Designer (Who Could Be You!) 

Do you have design skills? If so, your next step is to begin layouts and mock-ups of the covers. Most professional book cover designers use a program from the Adobe Creative Suite. KDP provide a Book cover design tool.

3. Decide on the Dimensions 

If you’re self-publishing and using a local printer you can work with them to your book dimensions . (remember a book prints front, back, and spine in one sheet of paper). It’s also a good idea to find examples of books whose size you like.

 

Check out book cover dimensions for whatever app you are going to use. Before you start designing the book cover.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

File Format: JPEG or TIFF

Cover Size (Recommended): 2560x1600 pixels

Cover Size Requirements: between 1000x625 pixels and 10,000x10,000 pixels (one side must be at least 1000)

 

Don’t forget: a book cover is an important part of selling any book. Whether you do it yourself or collaborate with a professional, pay special attention to this part of the process, as a great cover goes a long way.

 I found the best Self-publishing tools are the KDP tools

For self-publishers or authors who want to take advantage of Amazon's self-service tools to create Kindle books and sell them on Amazon, see Kindle Direct Publishing.

Start publishing with KDP

KDP allows you to self-publish eBooks, paperbacks, and hardcover books for free. We give you direct access to your book on Amazon, and allow you to create a product detail page for your book. It also gives you the option to expand your book’s availability on a global scale, making it more accessible for readers around the world. Publishing with KDP gives you full rights to your book, which is not something a traditional publishing house typically allows.

 

Ready to get started? If you haven’t already, make sure to finish setting up your KDP account. .

What types of content can I publish through KDP?

KDP allows you to publish eBooks (Kindle) and print books (Paperback and Hardcover). However, KDP does not allow the creation of magazines, periodicals, calendars, or spiral bound books.

Content types typically published using KDP include but are not limited to the following:

Novels, Book Series, Children's Books, Comics, Cookbooks, Journals, Poetry and Textbooks.