Thursday, July 16, 2015

Top Seven Reasons to Self-Publish

When Selby ink was founded 17 years ago publishing a book followed a routine process: You started by calling agents and editors who most likely told you to send them a query letter. Next step was usually a book proposal (if they were interested), plus a few sample chapters. Then the waiting game started, usually ending with disappointment. On the other hand, the option to self-publish was there, but it had a certain stigma…like your book wasn’t good enough for a “real publisher”. And eBooks were unknown!

When we see the sales figures for a self-published book like Still Alice we realize that times have changed. Today self-publishing is not only popular, but often it’s the preferred publishing path of many respected authors. As long as your book is professionally produced, with an eye-catching cover and compelling content, you can directly compete with any bestselling author.
Thinking about publishing your book soon? Here are my seven best reasons to self-publish your book:

1. Timing: Traditional publishers work on a long production cycle, they often plan a year to a year and a half—or even longer—to get a book out. As a self-publisher you can do it in a fraction of that time. It’s your material, your career move - you can take control of when you want to publish.

2. You Just Might Strike It Rich: Self-publishing offers the potential for huge profits. No longer do you have to be satisfied with the meager 5 to 15 percent royalty that commercial publishers dole out. When you use creativity, persistence, and sound business sense, money is there to be made. Most publishers require their authors to do their own promotion, why not self-publish and earn a 40 – 400% margin? If your book becomes a hit, publishers will come calling and give you the upper hand in negotiations.

Even without being a huge hit self-published authors can create a springboard to traditional publishing. As publicists we have helped many of our authors get their book published by traditional publishers. Once the marketability of your book has been proven, they may be eager to take it off your hands.

3. Ownership: Self-publishing can be the road to your independence. Do you dream of being your own boss? Do you desire more personal freedom? You can turn that dream into reality. Here is a dynamic, proven way to shape your own destiny. It is an answer not only for city folks but also for urban escapees seeking to prosper in paradise.

As a self-publisher, you own all rights to your book, whereas a traditional publisher would likely own the rights. If they lose interest in your book, you cannot print additional copies unless you purchase those rights back. Traditional publishers often require you to purchase your book from them to do any promotion you choose to do for your book. As your own publisher you print as many books as you need.

4. Niche: Traditional publishers may not take an interest in your book if it is topic-specific. They may feel the demand is not great enough to warrant a large press run. However, your book may fill a niche that has not been met, and you can “test the waters” with short-run printing.

5. Locality: Books about local or regional topics are generally produced by local authors in short-run quantities. Large publishers may decline publishing these books because of their limited sales potential.

6. Control: Self-publishing gives you the final say on the direction of your book. Your book reflects your vision and not someone else's. You can personally guide every step, or hire professionals to be on your team. You can choose the cover you like, the typeface, and the title you want. You maintain absolute control over your own book.

7. Legacy: And last but not least - sharing what you have learned, building your career, or leaving a family legacy are admirable motives.
Today when you self-publish you can create your own publishing company that provides you with a tax shelter, and a way to establish your material in a more professional manner. You are never stuck doing “it” all alone. There are great professionals to guide you, and dozens of “how-to” books to educate you in the process of publishing your own book. With all of these reasons to self-publish what is stopping you now? Will 2015 be a very good year to make your mark with your own book?

Mari Selby founded Selby ink in 1998 after working for a small publisher where she was successful in improving their sales from 20,000 books to over 100,000 books in one year. Prior to being a publicist Mari was a family therapist in private practice for almost 20 years.

© July, 2015 Mari Selby