by Staff Writer February 1, 2023
If you’re a content creator or an author, it’s now easier than ever to learn how to self-publish a book. With more and more resources available online, there’s no excuse not to take advantage of this opportunity.
Authors have traditionally had to rely on publishing houses to produce and market their books. This system often forced authors to make concessions to appeal to a mass audience. However, with the advent of self-publishing and online marketing, authors now have much more control over both the production and promotion of their work. This allows them to preserve their creative vision better and reach a wider audience than ever before.
There is no doubt that self-publishing is on the rise. With so much creative freedom and opportunity, an increasing number of people are choosing to go down this route. Self-publishing gives authors a lot of control over their work, from the design of the book to the marketing and promotion – something that traditional publishers simply can’t offer. Not to mention, with self-publishing you keep a larger percentage of royalties.
Self-publishing can be a great way to get your work out there, but it’s also important to be aware of the drawbacks. Make sure you do your research and understand the steps involved before making your final decision.
Why Should You Self-Publish a Book?
Self-publishing is a great way to take control of your success as an author. It also has a few other advantages, which we’ll explore below.
Accelerating the Speed to Market
Typically, authors who choose to work with traditional publishing houses don’t see their book in print for several months. In some cases, it may be years before the book is published. This can be frustrating for authors who are eager to share their work with the world. While traditional publishing does have its advantages, such as working with experienced editors and marketers, the long wait time between finishing a book and seeing it in print can be discouraging for many writers.
Once you learn the art of self-publishing, you can get your book out into the world quickly and easily using one of the many self-publishing platforms available. This way, you can control every aspect of the publishing process, from start to finish, and ensure that your book is exactly the way you want it to be.
Another great thing about self-publishing is that you can start building anticipation for your book well in advance of its release. This way, you can generate some early buzz and get people excited about reading it, unlike a traditional publishing company which may not announce its publication date for years.
Getting Higher Royalties
You can make a significantly higher profit from book sales by self-publishing, as you will not have to give a percentage of your royalties to a traditional publishing house. More money from each book sale will go straight into your pocket.
You should be aware that even though you will be self-publishing, your royalties will still be subject to the same book distributor and book printing costs as if you were using a traditional publishing house. Therefore, it is important to factor these potential expenses into your overall budget for publishing your book.
Having Complete Control of the Creative Aspects
If you choose to publish with a traditional publishing house, you will have to relinquish some control over your work. You will be assigned a team of editors, designers, and marketing professionals who will help shape your book into a product that is palatable for a mass audience. While this collaborative effort sounds appealing to some authors, others may feel like they are giving up a crucial part of their vision by ceding control to the publishing house.
Meanwhile, self-publishing gives you complete control over your book cover art, presentation, and editing. You also get to decide what goes inside the story. This freedom allows you to create a book that is uniquely yours and that best represents your vision. So if you’re set on how you want your book to look and sound, self-publishing might be the best option for you. That way, you can have complete control over every aspect of the publication process and make sure that your final product meets your standards.
Retaining Ownership of Your Work
Traditional publishers typically give authors an advance on their royalties in exchange for the author agreeing not to self-publish or publish with another press. In other words, the author gives up some control over their book to receive an advance.
The traditional publishing house you’ve decided to work with owns the rights to your book, which means you can’t take it to another retailer without their consent. You also can’t make any edits without approval from the traditional publishing house. Some authors don’t mind giving up control of where and how their products are sold in exchange for money, but many content creators who are used to having that control may have trouble with this tradeoff.
Disadvantages of Self-Publishing
Even though there are many benefits when you self-publish a book, there are also some downsides that you should be aware of. Depending on your publishing goals, working with a traditional publishing house to release your book may be an attractive and viable option.
Traditional publishers are usually looking for:
-An author with a platform (social media presence), or a way to reach readers
-A strong proposal that outlines the book’s potential and market backed by a literary agent
-A well-crafted writing sample
If your book meets the above requirements set by traditional publishers, it may be worth considering this option. And although self-publishing can offer a lot of opportunities, it is not suitable for everyone. Below are some potential drawbacks that should be taken into consideration before taking the plunge and publishing your work.
Difficulty in Getting Books into Physical Bookstores
For many authors, the dream is to one day see their book sitting on the shelves of Barnes & Noble, next to their favorite authors. If that is your vision for success as an author, then working with a traditional publishing house will be the best way to make that happen. Traditional publishing houses have the connections and resources necessary to get your book into local bookstores and libraries.
It’s important to remember that book sales are changing. While brick-and-mortar stores are seeing a decrease in sales, online retailers like Amazon are experiencing an increase. This shift doesn’t mean that your book won’t sell, just that you might have to think outside the traditional bookstore model. Also, consider how badly you want your work to be in a bookstore before you decide to either self-publish a book or go with a traditional publishing company.
Investing Your Own Money
There is a common misconception amongst self-published authors that they need to finance the entire cost of their book upfront. Whilst traditional publishing houses do indeed grant funding for books, this does not mean that self-published author have to do the same.
Using a print-on-demand service to fulfill your book printing needs can save you a significant amount of money upfront. Rather than having to self-fund the cost of printing hundreds or thousands of copies, you can choose a print-on-demand provider that will do it for you. This way, you can avoid any out-of-pocket costs and get your book into the hands of readers quickly and easily.
Taking the Lead in Marketing Your Book
Publishers typically have in-house teams of individuals whose primary responsibility is to market the books that they have published. However, since you are self-publishing a book, you will likely have to take on many of those responsibilities yourself. This means that you will need to be proactive in getting the word out about your book and finding creative ways to market it.
We strongly believe that every author should have a robust online presence consisting of social media accounts, a blog, a website, and an email list. This will be instrumental in helping you reach more readers and sell more when you self-publish a book.
There are many creative ways to market your book outside of usual methods such as writing social media and blog posts Here are a few of our favorites:
- Create a book trailer and post it on YouTube: This is an excellent way to generate interest in your book and reach a wide audience.
- Conduct radio and podcast interviews: These are a great way to reach new audiences and engagingly talk about your book.
- Give readings at local bookstores or libraries. This is a great way to connect with potential readers in your community.
- Hold a contest or giveaway related to your book. For example, you could hold a contest for the best fan fiction based on your book. This is a fun way to engage with fans and promote your book at the same time.
Write and Self-Publish a Book: A Detailed Guide
If you’re now considering the process of how to self-publish a book, we want to congratulate you on taking this big step forward in making your book idea a reality. Once you have a clear understanding of the path you need to take, it’s much easier to get started and maintain your momentum throughout the process of book creation, publication, marketing, and sales. Having a plan gives you a sense of direction and makes it simpler to achieve your goals.
#1 Understand Your Purpose for Writing
Before you start writing your book, you must deeply understand the “why” behind it. What is the purpose of the book, and what are you hoping to achieve with it? Also, what do you want your readers to take away from it? Answering these questions will help ensure that your book is focused and engaging.
Every book has a unique reason for why it was written, and this is what contributes to its success. If a book is brilliantly written but the reader cannot understand the purpose behind it, then they are likely not going to want to purchase it. Authors need to be clear about their intentions with a book so that readers can connect with it on a deeper level.
Your “why” should be something that drives you to keep writing even when it feels challenging. Once you know your “why,” stick to it and let it guide you as you write your book. Doing this will help you create a more cohesive and well-rounded story.
#2 Establish an Audience
If you want to be a successful self-publisher, it’s important to establish an online audience long before you release your book. The people who are most likely to buy your book when it first comes out already know and trust you. So the sooner you start working on developing relationships with potential readers, the better off you’ll be.
Imagine how great it will feel to self-publish a book with the added support of blog readers, email subscribers, and social media followers who are already familiar with your work and eager to buy your book. Having a pre-existing fan base will help you build confidence once you self-publish a book and give you a marketing edge that other authors lack.
#3 Set Achievable Deadlines
It can be difficult to set deadlines, especially if you have other commitments such as a full-time job or running your own business. However, you don’t need months of free time to write a great book. With careful planning and some dedication, you can fit writing into your busy schedule.
In other words, you can begin writing your book whenever you want! As you start, be sure to set achievable deadlines for yourself that reflect your current commitments. This will help ensure that you make progress on your book without becoming overwhelmed.
You should establish deadlines when it comes to:
- Completing your initial draft: Make sure you give yourself enough time to write but also don’t get too bogged down in perfecting every sentence. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself a week or two to finish the first draft.
- Revising your first draft: Once you have a complete draft, it’s important to go back and revise it. Again, try to strike a balance between taking the time to make necessary changes and getting too caught up in details. Schedule a couple of weeks for self-editing.
- Sending your work to an editor for review: You’ll need to find an editor who can help you polish your manuscript and get it ready for publication.
- Putting the finishing touches on your book: Once you’ve made all the changes recommended by your editor (or decided which ones you’ll ignore), it’s time to put a few more touch-ups before it can be released. This includes things like formatting, creating a cover design, and so on. Give yourself at least a month or two for this stage.
#4 Know Your Budget
It’s a good idea to set a preliminary budget for how much you’d like to spend on a book editor, book designer, and printing costs before you start thinking about hiring anyone. This will help you determine whether or not you can afford to hire professionals and how much you’ll need to spend on printing.
When you are creating your budget for your first book, you will want to look at your current financial situation and predict how many books you think you will be able to sell. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust your budget as you gain more experience and learn more about the book-publishing process.
Outsourcing the design and editing aspects of your self-published book can be a great way to save time and ensure a professional result. Still, it can also come with significant costs associated with working with businesses or freelancers. To get the most accurate estimate of what you’ll need to budget, we suggest getting quotes from multiple sources.
#5 Build an Outline
You’ve made great progress thus far in your preparations to write your first book! Having an outline before you start writing will give you a clear sense of direction for the story. This will be immensely helpful in ensuring that your finished product is cohesive and well-structured. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step in the writing process!
When you outline your story, you can leave some elements open to change. This will allow you to follow any sudden waves of creativity as you progress through writing the story. Having some flexibility in your outline will help ensure that your story is as dynamic and exciting as possible.
#6 Develop a Writing Ritual
It’s finally time to start writing! You might find it helpful to set a goal for how many words you want to write every day. Having a daily target will help keep you on track and motivated as you work on your writing project.
Some people find that writing in large chunks is more effective, while others prefer shorter amounts of time throughout the day. Ultimately, it is important to find what works best for you and stick with it.
#7 Prepare Your Book for Self-Publishing
When your manuscript is complete and you have worked with an editor to finalize it, you will then start deciding which self-publishing platform is right for you. This is a crucial decision in the self-publishing process, as the platform you choose will determine how your book looks and functions. There are a variety of different self-publishing platforms available, so it is important to do your research to find the one that best suits your needs.
Your book summary and title are two important factors to have ready before you self-publish a book. Having these elements ready will help you when it comes time to upload your book onto your chosen platform and set a launch date. A well-thought-out summary and title will give you a head start in marketing your book and ensuring its success.