There’s that age-old question in the publishing community: traditional publishing or self-publishing? Do you go the querying route or publish it yourself? Many people will argue the superiority of one over the other, as if one form of publishing reigns supreme. But it’s not a simple answer. Publishing not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing—that’s why there are two options in the first place.
Let’s go into a few pros and cons of self-publishing, shall we?
· You get full control of your work If you’re a person who gets anxiety at the idea of your work being put in someone else’s hands, going this route will give you complete control. This also means you’re not signing or selling away your rights to your story, your characters, or your series. You have complete control if you want to write another book or anything like that.
· It is a much quicker publication process It’s hard to sit back and wait months—sometimes even years!—for that book you’ve slaved over to see the light of day.
· You don’t have to worry about deadlines Ah, deadlines. If you’re someone who doesn’t work great with deadlines, in the world of self-publishing, you set your own dates and goals. Pretty neat, right?
· Upfront Costs All those costs your publisher pays for—cover design, an editing team—are costs that you must cover yourself.
· You must do all the marketing Now, if you’re someone like me who loves sharing her work, this might not be a con to you. However, if the idea of screaming about your book from the rooftops scares you, this may not be the route for you. When you traditionally publish, yes, you’ll have to do some marketing, but in the realm of self-publishing, marketing can make or break your book’s success.
· No immediate payout You always hear about traditionally published authors receiving advances, right? That nice, fat paycheck given to them once they’re signed onto a publishing house? Well, in self-publishing, there’s no money in your pocket until there’s sales.
Now that you’ve seen a few pros and cons, let’s go into a bit of an idea what the process might look like if you were to self-publish. The first steps are typical—write your first draft, revise it as much as you can yourself, and then look for beta readers. Many authors pursuing the traditional route follow to this guideline.
But where the two processes diverge from the same road is when it comes time to finding a copy editor. Whereas authors who are pursuing traditionally will start querying at this point, in self-publishing, this is the time you begin looking for a copy editor (or, if you want an extra set of eyes before beginning the final steps to publication, you might look for a line editor). After copy edits, you’d look into proofreading services to polish your manuscript. And then comes formatting and then publication.
Now, I’ll admit, that sounds like a lot. If you’re like me, you’re probably seeing those letters as dollar signs just adding up. Just know that you don’t need to hire a developmental editor, a line editor, a copy editor, a proofreader, and a formatter for every single book. For my books, I only hired out copy editors, had friends and family help me proofread, and formatted my book myself. In the world of self-publishing, you get to decide what you want to do!
If you’re thinking, “Sarah, I’m still not sure what I want to do! Can you pick the best route for me?” I pose to you a question.
Do you want to run your own business?
Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur? Do you see yourself promoting your book, day in and day out? Do you see yourself building this into a career—are you going to put in the work to make it your career?
What many people don’t realize about self-publishing is that you are literally starting your own business. I am the sole owner of Golden Crown Publishing, LLC. That is the business that I started when I decided that I was going to self-publish. Selling books is my business. If you’re going to go into self-publishing, you need to go in 110% because less than won’t give you the outcome that you’re hoping for. If you’re the kind of person who loves the idea of owning their own business, of being their own boss, of building their own career from the ground up, then this may be the route for you. It definitely was the route for me.
The answer to that age old question, though, is simple: pick whichever route you want. Emphasis on you. Not what your best friend thinks, not what your mom thinks, and not even what the guy you met on Twitter last week thinks. Not what you think will make you the most money. What do you want out of this? In ten years, where do you want to be?
Now make it happen.
If you want to watch a YouTube video on this topic, I just posted one today!
My YA Romance, WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?, is out NOW! It's available on both ebook and paperback.
My YA Romance, OUT OF MY LEAGUE, is coming so soon! You can preorder it NOW as well as add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzoJrE