Big Question – should I self-publish or not? There are a lot of things to consider before making this decision. Here are some of the pros and cons of becoming a self-publishing author.Self-Publish Your Book for Creative FreedomSelf-publishing gives you a great deal of freedom. You can chose your own cover design, size, and book structure without helpful, or nor so helpful, input. You have much more control over the process when you do it yourself. You make all the choices, including size, color, content, structure, artwork, photos, and number of copies.
It gets a little more challenging when you also have to be your own marketing department. If you know your target audience, you may already know of some places to sell your book. You will need to reach out to local bookstores, even national chains, to get your book placed on their shelves. You’ll also want to schedule yourself to do some book talks and book signings. Of course, bookstores are a good place to do this, but try to think of places that might partner with you to bring in an audience that benefits both you and the business.An example of this might be if you have written a book about crochet and knitting. Maybe the local yarn or craft shops would like to have you do a book signing or a mini workshop. You can sell books and they sell products. It’s a win win situation.
Self-publishing Has Become Easier to Do
It is pretty easy to self-publish. You can turn a Word file into a PDF, create your own cover art, and upload the whole thing, photos included to a self- publisher. They will send you a final proof to review and make any necessary changes. After that, it is off to the presses! When you go through this process with a traditional publishing house, you have the benefit of their staff and years of expertise to guide you. But, you also have their guidelines and requirements to address. They can also help with the editing and layout process, however they could ask you to make changes that may not agree with.
Before You Self-publish: Questions to Ask
There are lots of questions to ask yourself when you are self-publishing. Are you completely finished with the project? Have you written all you want to write in this particular book? Do you feel like your topic has been thoroughly explored or your story line completed? Are your chapters organized in a sensible manner? Has an editor checked for grammatical errors and consistency? Have you chosen photos? If so, are they placed properly? Is the resolution good enough? If you choose to self-publish you have to ask and answer these questions yourself.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t have an editor if you self-publish. It just means that you have to find the editor on your own. In a self-publishing scenario, the final, printed copy of your book will be whatever you submit. The challenge here is on you to make sure you submit a clean manuscript with no errors. There is usually not an independent editor looking it over for inconsistencies and errors.This doesn’t mean it can’t be done, authors self-publish frequently. It just means you have to act as author, editor, and publisher.
Resources for Self-publishing Writers
There are some wonderful self-publishing websites that will guide you through the process. A good example is Lulu.com. Although they are a self-publishingcompany, they offer many additional services to help you get your book to market. Amazon.com, a well known name, has gotten into the business of self-publishing in the form of e-books. A quick internet search will reveal lots of options to find self-publishers. You’ll have to make decisions about the degree of services you would like, and how much money you want to spend. Some services, such as cover design and marketing help will cost a little extra.
Because so many people are using Kindle or Nook these days, publishing in the form of an e-book is definitely worth thinking about. Publishing an e-book avoids many of the issues involved with publishing a printed version. For e-books the page size is not up to you, the photos and art work will be seen at the appropriate degree of resolution in a digital format, font size can be determined by the reader, and there is no need for a back cover. E-books are definitely an option for their popularity and ease of publishing. More on that topic in another blog.