In our last blog post, we addressed the increased legitimacy of self-publishing as a valid alternative to traditional publishing, and presented a couple of reasons to take the self-publishing route: Giving the Gatekeeper the Runaround, and Money. Here are four more reasons to self-publish.
The path to traditional publishing can be months, or years if dealing with multiple rejections. If you self-publish, there are no delays, no waiting for it to get picked up by a traditional publisher, no dependency on someone else’s timeline or priorities. Publish the book when the timing suits your business, personal, and professional goals. You can strike while the iron is hot!
When an author self-publishes, the time to get a book to market is as long or as short as the author wants to make it – 6-8 weeks from finished manuscript to book launch at 1106 Design, depending upon how much editing your book requires.
Authors who publish independently maintain complete control over look, content, story, style, and quality. Editors in traditional publishing houses can make an author change his or her story or content to fit what the publisher deems to be more marketable.
You know your readers best (or you should) and, if you are a consultant, speaker, physician, lawyer or other professional who wants to publish a book to further business and personal goals, you need to maintain that control over content and design, AND you need to maintain control over timing. There is no sense publishing a book that misses the market cycle or is out-of-date because publisher rejections mean the book’s research and findings are yesterday’s news.
Self-published authors can keep their books up-to-date by publishing revised editions whenever they want. Printing on demand means that authors never have a stack of out-of-date books in their basements, nor do they need to wait until the original print run sells in order to finance their next venture.
Authors who publish independently are free to make deals with people for bulk purchases, perhaps for gifts or for conference attendees. Authors can also make deals for foreign rights to publish in other countries.
Whether you are with a traditional publishing house or self-publishing, you will in large part be responsible for the marketing of your book. So you might as well be in complete control of how that’s done and what expenses you incur.
Independent authors can be creative about marketing. For example, Seth Godin is marketing his latest book Your Turn “horizontally” by giving away a free book with every purchased copy. The idea is to have readers give away their free copies, thus spreading word about the book.
In addition, an author’s book topic might appeal to too small an audience for most publishers to consider. However, as authors with a narrow niche typically know their audience well and have direct access to that audience through their professional contacts, they have an opportunity to market their books successfully. Bloggers with hundreds or thousands of followers, speakers at conferences, and writers with articles that are published regularly, have ready-made platforms from which to sell their books.
Again, don’t let a publishing house tell you why or why not your book will sell and to whom, and don’t deny your audience the information you think they need. As with any entrepreneur, if you think you have a unique product, don’t let anything stand in your way of bringing it to market!
What Do You Think?
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