After the Self-Publishing Boom, Self-Publishing has become a viable option for aspiring Authors. The days of waiting around for responses from agents only to be rejected are far from over. Self-Publishing offers you more creative control over your own book with important decisions like the cover and the marketing strategies remaining in your own hands, instead of a publisher who may not be as passionate as you having the final say.
But Self-Publishing comes with its fair share of risks, unless you know exactly what you are doing you may fail before you even release your book. So, I will be listing the pros and cons of Self-Publishing and a breakdown of things to keep in mind if you decide to self-publish.
The most obvious pros are the creative control and independence Self-Publishing provides you. You can pick the cover, and you can choose to not change the title or segments of the book just to make it more marketable. You retain the rights to say no to these changes, which is one of the first things a publisher may takes away from you.
You are more capable of releasing a series of novels, since a publisher may not agree to publishing multiple books if the first does not perform well. You earn higher royalties as you are not splitting the Lion's share of the royalty with a publisher and you can take creative risks like genre mash-ups and pricing.
Along with creative control, we have seen time and time again that Publishers only buy what is selling right now. After The Hunger Games, we saw a flood of similar books because they were bound to sell. If your book didn't fit in the framework of trends they were looking for, then the chances of them not buying your book or at least changing parts of it to make it trendy increased.
The last part is pretty obvious. You are working on your own timeline. If you think you can Self-Publish a quality book in 3 months, you can absolutely do that. Traditional Publishing generally takes a lot of time from when you start querying and your book hits the shelves.
The last pro is something I feel is actually very important, In self publishing the only person who needs to believe in your book is YOU. You don't need an agent to like your book based on a query letter; you don't need to convince a sales team of a publishing house if your idea is marketable if YOU believe that there is an audience for it. There are many stories that are not picked up because a publisher thinks its not worth it, but when it is self-published it performs extremely well in the Indie market
The first major con is that you are in the driver’s seat. You have to make all the business decisions yourself. You don't have anyone to bounce decisions off like when to copyright etc.
Self-publishing also demands a more upfront investment like hiring a cover designer, going through multiple rounds of edits, and marketing.
The last con is the lack of advances; most major publishers give you an advance expected on the performance of your book in addition to paying for the costs you would be paying yourself.
Now I will be breaking down Self-publishing based on extended research (note: this is not based on personal experience)
First and foremost remember that you have to invest in your book don't expect readers to pay for an unfinished book.
Polish your Novel
Send it through beta readers and critique partners. After working on it with them and implementing the feedback.
Hire professionals for multiple rounds of edits: - Copy editing, that looks at grammatical errors, style and flow - Developmental editing that looks at the story - Proofreading for the final checks - Have your book formatted with page size, font size and margins
Hire a Cover designer for the covers
Upload it on the various platforms
Do the marketing
No, you and your best friend can't do it. You need professionals to make your work ready for sale.
If you are doing it as a hobby you can cut corners in this step but if you want to make a living out of it but enjoy skipping on it then enjoy the reviews. ;)
About Aayush Goenka
Aayush Goenka is a college student pursuing his History Major in India, In his free time, he seeks to combine his love for History, writing and chess into a series of Epic fantasy novels which he plans to start publishing sometime next year. You can find him on Instagram talking about his favourite pieces of media be it Books, Anime or Tv Shows.