It’s either you have or about to complete your creative piece of work; or the idea of a book still lives in your head waiting for the right time to let it out.
May be it’s that unique story you want to share with the world.
Or perhaps you want to supplement your speaking, coaching or consulting career or business by putting your expertise into a book.
And when you consider the process of getting your book published traditionally, you just can't get yourself to take action. You’ve probably heard stories of how traditional publishers can be generous with dishing out disappointments and frustration to potential authors.
You might have read the stories of Stephen Kings, whose first book, Carrie, was rejected dozens of times;
Or William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” rejected by 20 publishers
Or the story of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novel rejected by 12 publishers. And how the editor, Barry Cunningham, who finally considered to published her book advised that she “…get a day job, because you have little chance of making money in children’s books”
Or of George Orwell’s – Animal Farm - who received the following reply from a publisher, “it is impossible to sell animal stories in USA”
And several other authors who went through humiliations and frustrations from publishing houses before they got one ‘Yes’ that changed everything.
Then you are thinking, “I’m not yet ready to go through all that hassle to publish a book”.
Because you’ve also heard that even when you eventually get the book deal, you’ll get that question that’ll make you wonder if you ever needed them in the first place; “How do you intend to sell your book?”
Here is the good news; your destiny as a writer is no longer in the hands of traditional book publishers.
Yes, you may already know that by now. But do you really understand why this is so? If you do, do you understand the process to self publish your book? How about how to sell your first 100, 314 copies?
One truth is that there is no better time than now to get your book published. The other truth is that you really have to understand how to take advantage of the right tools as a writer, author and entrepreneur.
For now, let’s look at 17 solid reasons why you should consider self-publishing in the first place.
- Retain all rights – In traditional publishing, the publisher handles the distribution and warehousing for your book. There are no expenses (theoretically) to the author but you lose the right to your intellectual property to the publisher. If they lose interest in your book, you will not be able to print additional copies unless you purchase those rights back.However, as a self-publisher, you own all rights to your book.
- Be in Control - In self publishing, the majority of the work falls on your shoulders and you pay for all expenses. However, the major (and worthy) advantage of self publishing is that you control when the book is published, you retain all rights and you receive 100 percent of the profits – well may be 35 to 70 percent if you are using a third party self publishing platform like Amazon Kindle.
- Save time - Most traditional publishers take up to 18-months, even more, to get your book from manuscript to final production. Choose to self-publish and your book will be ready in a matter of weeks.
- Better reward from your marketing effort – Most new traditionally published authors still do the majority of the marketing and publicity campaigns for their books. So either way, you still have to learn to market your book. If you are self published, your marketing efforts is better rewarded
- Make more money per book sale - With traditional publishing, you’ll give up about 80 – 85 percent of the royalties from your book sales, after your first advance. When self publish online, you can keep 70 to 100 percent of the royalties from sales.
- Freedom to explore - With your self-published book in digital format, your book is distributed with zero restrictions or boundaries. You can be more adventurous and do whatever it takes to get more reading eyes to your book.
- Your book, the way you want it - Your book is a reflection of you, the author. Self publishing gives you complete control on the direction of your book. The decisions are exclusively yours and not limited by third parties with intentions and interests different from your own.
- Capacity to test the market. Because you don’t want to publish a book that people may not be interested in, you can test the market; find out how well your book idea could sell and how much attention it could command. Thanks to social and online marketing media platforms.
- Target Niche Audience - Your book may appeal to a limited niche market and therefore, may not be of interest to a large publishing house.
- Tell your story the way you want it - Each of us has a unique story to tell. Your book is an opportunity to express your innermost personality. Self publishing gives you the opportunity to express your thoughts and ideas in ways that best suits you, without influence from a third-party.
- Start off a dream career - By self publishing a book online, you can position yourself for your dream career or job. If you have a passion for change on a particular issue in the society, you can publish your book to gain public attention, attract institutions and organizations that fit into your mission and start off a rewarding career, without going through the hassle of traditional publishing.
- Opportunity to further traditional-publish. Many large traditional publishing houses now scour the internet for self-published books that could fit their publishing program. If you have a self-published book that’s performing relatively well, you may attract the attention of a publisher.
- Develop entrepreneurial skills - Because you are required to invest your time, network and resources to produce and market your book, you are essentially developing entrepreneurial skills; an important skill to achieving success and fulfillment.
- Embrace online promotion - You can build and establish a visible platform to reach your audience, both online and offline (like a blog, e-magazine, Twitter or Facebook followers), develop credibility with your readers; market and promote your current and future work.
- Low cost of production - The cost of publishing a digital Book is very cheap. Once you create your book in the appropriate formats, set up a delivery and distribution system, other expenses will be for promotion and marketing. Of course maintenance cost does apply, but in most cases you pay a tiny percentage when you make sales.
- Availability within your control – eBooks never run out of stock unless you decide to take them down. Once an eBook is created, it can be downloaded millions of times without running out of stock. No cost or urgency of printing more copies.
- Easy to update – if at any time you have a reason to add or remove something from your book, you can go to the digital document, make the changes and upload the new version, without having a pile of outdated unsold books.
- Access a global market – you can publish an eBook on Kindle today and start selling it to people in US, UK, Canada, India, China, all at the same time. There is just no limit to where you can reach.
If you weigh the decision to self-publish or traditional publish, like most important decisions in life, it boils down to your personal situation and your expectation.
For instance, if you are Chimamanda Adichie, you can either choose to publish or self-publish online. It works great for famous people both ways. Either the publisher will be glad to publish their book or they will have a huge blog followership and social media fans to sell their self-published book to.
But for everyday fellows, like me and you, I have no doubt that self publishing online is the better way to go.
How to Self Publish Your Book Online
The basic steps in general include:
- Get the book ready, with a captivating Title and engaging content
- Design the book for visual appeal - This includes the cover and the internal design
- Convert the book contents from Word format to Mobi for Amazon, ePub for Apple ibooks or PDF format for selling on your own platform (blog).
- Set up and publish it for selling and delivery – on Amazon Kindle or on your own platform.
- Promote and Market your eBook. This includes marketing via email, blogs, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) and optimizing for search engines.
This is a basic summary of the steps to self-publish a book online.
To get started publishing and for more indept action steps, subscribe to Blogerian Newsletter and get a free copy of the book - How to Publish Your Book on Kindle. I’ll send you ideas and strategies to promote and market your book periodically.
Do you prefer the old method of publishing or doing it yourself?
Have you self-published a book or planning to? Feel free to tell us about it.
Let's discuss in comment below.