Self Publishing: The Pros and Cons

Self-publishing is where you do everything yourself from idea to book, or you engage a project manager to do it for you.

The benefits of self-publishing include:

· You can get a book printed very quickly after finishing it so it can be ready to distribute and sell within a month.

· You have full control over the whole process, as well as timings.

· You can sell by any means you like e.g. digital, ebook, audio, print, rights to TV.

· You can write for a small niche market that a large publisher would not consider, but you can still make sales.

· You keep all rights to the material.

· More money can be made per book.

· You can test the market and then approach a publisher with evidence of sales.

· You can get into the game and become an author. As you establish your credibility, you can approach a publisher with a later project.

· Your time and effort go into marketing and promoting the book instead of chasing a publisher.

The drawbacks include:

· You need to put up the money for printing, distribution and publicity upfront

· You may have no experience and no contacts in the industry so it will be harder to get distribution and sales

· You might not sell as many books so even if you make more per book, you may make less overall

· Self-published books are not considered as “important” as published books by the literary establishment. (Although on Amazon, it is hard to tell what’s what).

· You need to do it all yourself, unless you outsource the management. (This is also a benefit for certain people).

In terms of personality, you need to be more of a project manager in order to self-publish. You have to coordinate a number of things at the same time and if you don’t keep to the list you will not end up with a book at the end of it all.

On a personal note, I self-published “How to Enjoy Your Job” which is for sale worldwide on I wrote the book andthen started to think about publishing. When I looked at the lead times for traditional publishing, I decided to self-publish as I didn’t want to wait 18 months. I will be looking at how to actually get from idea to book on this blog.


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  1. says

    Joanna, although I’ve railed against all the marketers who self-publish and who Twitter, with no regard for what’s being marketed, the biggest part of self-publishing is having a real marketing plan. That is, after writing a worthwhile book.

    It can be done. I just recently did my piece of typesetting a second edition of a book for which I’d done design and layout on the first edition.

    They’d sold the 10,000 copies they’d had printed of that first edition. I like to think it was my design made people buy all out in about a year.

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