It’s every writers dream to land an agent and become traditionally published. However, if you haven’t considered self-publishing that story, you might want to check out the benefits and success stories below for some inspiration.
By self-publishing, I mean creating and selling a book online, outside the traditional publishing industry — in which publishing companies pay authors advances and a royalty, working with them to edit, design, and distribute the book.
Today, anybody with an internet connection can write an ebook and make it available to hundreds of millions of readers — pretty much for free. The challenge is to make these books bestsellers without the marketing might of a HarperCollins behind them.
Many writers have risen to this challenge, however, with the help of modern methods and social media.
The current stars of self-publishing include:
- E.L. James, whose Fifty Shades books were initially self-published as hot-and-steamy Twilight fanfiction.
- Hugh Howey, the American sci-fi author whose novel Silo became a bestseller when it was self-published as a series of novellas.
- Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley tech evangelist whose book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur laid out many principles authors now use to find publishing success.
But what defines true success in publishing? If it’s the ability for authors to support themselves as full-time writers, you might be surprised to learn that this is often easier without a publisher!
There are many benefits that draw authors to self publishing. Without having to go through the traditional gatekeepers of the publishing world, you will find:
- Creative freedom. You have full control over the content, the title, the length, and the book cover design. You have the option to collaborate with editors and designers — but in the end, the only editorial approval you’ll need is your own!
- A guarantee of publishing. If you need to release your book by a certain date, pretty much the only way to guarantee it is to publish it yourself. After all, you’re not beholden to the schedules of a gargantuan press.
- A greater portion of royalties. By essentially cutting out the middleman, the self-published author will retain all the proceeds (minus the retailer’s cut).
- 100% ownership of rights. As part of their book deals, traditional publishers sometimes ask for exclusive rights to reprint, film adaptations, and merchandising. The independent publishing route at least ensures you remain in full control.
Comment below if you’re a self-publisher!