Why should you self publish?
If I had a quarter for every time someone told me, “Wow your book is doing really well. Why don’t you send the next one to a publisher?” I would probably have a pocket full of change that I could throw at them.
Indie published is the wave of the future. If you read my previous blogs, you’ll know that I’m riding that wave with a surfboard and a straw brimmed hat. I truly 100% believe that indie publishing is an incredible opportunity for authors to take back control of their books.
All of you who know me or read my blogs know that I am an incredibly blunt and honest person. So here’s the gosh darn honest truth.
If I went with a traditional publisher, I would have to sell at least twice the amount of books I currently sell to make the same amount of money.
Okay so the gif might be a little bit overkill. But! That’s the reality of traditional vs indie. Writing, of course, isn’t all about the money. I don’t write because it’s keeping me alive and I don’t write because I want to see a big fat paycheck in my bank account. But money does become a factor in everything that we do.
Let’s talk about money for a second because I know you’re wondering how I came to this conclusion. David Gaughran who wrote Let’s Get Digital explains this in much more detail. I highly suggest reading his book if you’re interested in the realities of Self Publishing. Here’s a quick breakdown of payment for a traditionally published author vs. indie.
$9.99 Traditional Published E-Book
Retailer: 30% ($2.99)
Publisher: 52.5% ($5.25)
Writer: 17.5%($1.75, minus agent’s 15% cut, leaving $1.49)
$2.99 Self Published E-Book
Retailer: 30% ($0.90)
Writer: 70% ($2.09)
The difference! Now it’s hard to imagine that I make more per book than a traditionally published author. There’s a lot more people involved with traditionally published authors. I don’t sell anywhere near the same amount of books or even half of the books that a famous author sells. Let’s be real, I sell 2-5 books a day. That’s not going to compete with Karen Moning.
But I don’t have as many books published either.
Take money out of the equation. There are plenty of other reasons to go with Self Publishing vs Traditional.
Those of you who know me, understand that I’m a control freak. My book is my book. I like having all the rights to my book. I like being able to control what it looks like. Even more than that, I want to make certain that my brand looks exactly the way I want it to look.
I control what my cover looks like. I control what font the book is written in. I control the summary, the credits, the foreword, the plot, the characters. In fact all of these things I own. See that word in bold and italics so that you read it in a very serious voice? I own everything in my book and everything that has created my book.
When I figured out that every bit of control was in my power? Oh you bet I was going full on Self Publishing.
I fully understand that a lot of people don’t go into writing with any kind of marketing background. And that is really OKAY. If you feel more comfortable handing the reins over to a publisher then you should 100% do that.
But for those of you who are interested in the process that it takes to get your story out into the great wide world through Self Publishing, I want to empower you.
Here’s the reality check. I don’t want anyone reading this article to think “I should self publish because it’s easy.” Nerp. Sorry Sparky, it ain’t easy at all. You have to wear a lot of hats in the Self Publishing world and be capable of doing that. This includes being your marketing specialist, your own editor, cover artist, publicist, agent, and more.
Put the breaks on, don’t flinch away from me like that. Google is your friend. Other authors are your friend. And all of these roles can be learned. You aren’t expected to become a marketing guru overnight and the same thing doesn’t work for everyone. Your genre is likely very different from mine and from every other Indie author you find out there.
Let’s break this down even further.
Yes you need to market your product. Just like anything you attempt to sell online, you have to let people know you are actually selling it. This can be on facebook, word of mouth, twitter, instagram, goodreads, amazon-
WHOA hang on Emma. I only know one of those websites and the others scare me.
Okay, that’s totally doable. Start small. Word of mouth will get your books out a little bit. Family, friends, friends of family, friends of friends. You’ll get a little bit of sales from that. Tell your author friends (yes you need some of these) to share your work. This is the number one way to get your book out there.
Facebook, twitter, instagram, goodreads, all of these can be learned just through googling. I highly suggest doing your research but also seeing what works for you. Facebook is my go to for sales and I haven’t found that any of the others are really worth the time. You’ll learn what’s the right thing for you.
Gasp! A job you can farm out?
Absolutely. Now editing should be done by the writer. You cannot just write a story and not change something. We’re not geniuses. But a writer is their own worst editor. There will be something you missed and probably some big somethings you missed.
Editors are expensive! Yes indeedy but to put your best foot forward you need someone who knows what they’re doing. The alternative to this is a Beta Reader. Lo and behold these lovely individuals sometimes edit your book for free just because they like free books and have hearts of gold.
Goodreads is a fantastic place to search for them. Beta Reader Group is there for all your needs. I highly suggest getting a couple people because although these ladies and gents are highly capable, everyone is human and can miss things.
Are you a graphic designer? Do you know how to buy the rights to a stock image and font?
Then get a cover artist doofus. It’s the best advice I can give someone. Your cover is the first thing a potential reader sees and the reason why they buy the book or don’t buy the book. Some people will buy a book just because the cover is pretty.
Let the professionals do it.
Alright I think you get the point. Not only is self publishing profitable, but it’s completely doable for someone who has never published anything before.
Bottom line is that self published authors wear many hats. But it’s just wearing a hat. You aren’t becoming the hat.
Anyone that says they have a story, I say do it. Write that sucker down, talk to other authors, figure out what you require to do everything necessary to make that push and then publish.
Join the wave of the future. I’ll save you a surfboard.