Choosing to Self-Publish Over a Smaller Independent Publisher

The publishing world is constantly changing, but the introduction of the e-book may be one of the largest changes the publishing industry has seen in many years. The e-book format makes it much easier to publish your work yourself and let the readers decide if it is of merit.

Many writers are choosing to self publish rather than pursue publication with independent publishers after being turned down by the major publishers and agents.

Self-Publishing Offers More Control

One reason that some authors choose to go with self-publishing is that it offers more control over the book. The author is responsible for choosing the book cover and design, the editing and all promotion of the book. This means that the success of the book really depends on how much the author puts into it and how successful he is at promoting the book. With e-publishing there is not a substantial upfront cost to publishing, which makes it much easier for an author to pursue this path.

Self-Publishing Allows You to Earn More

When you self-publish you are able to keep all of the profits from the sales of your book. For example, if you self-publish on the Kindle and you price your book at $2.99 you get to keep seventy percent of each sale. This is about $2.09 a copy. Most publishing contracts have you earn a lower dollar amount for each sale. Many independent publishers do not pay an advance, and then offer you a percentage of the revenue from each book sale. It will be lower than this because they will only get the same percentage from any copies sold on the Kindle. Many independent publishers are focusing on e-books right now as well and driving those forward with less emphasis on printing book.

Promotion with Self- Publishing and Independent Publishers

The amount of promotion you will need to do for self-publishing and going with an independent publisher is about the same. Most of the smaller independent publishers offer very little in the way of marketing support. Marketing is an important part of making your book a success.  It is one of the biggest reasons why you may want to go with a bigger publisher. However, if you know you will be responsible either way, it may make more sense to go the route of self-publishing so you can have more control over all aspects of your book.

Overcoming the Stigma of Self-Publishing

Many people who choose to go with an independent publisher do so because of the stigma of self-publishing. It is important that you do everything possible to create a perfect product. You may want to hire a professional copy editor to edit your books and check for grammar mistakes and typos. You will also need to create a professional website for your books. You may wish to create a printed version of your book. If you use Amazon to e-publish they have a deal with Create Space, which allows you to create a print on demand copy of your book. This means you do not need to pay up front for your book to be printed, and it can save you money.

Charissa Newark is the resident blogger and the editor for After graduating from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in English in 2005 and unable to find a “9-5”, Charissa began freelance writing and doing research for various websites. A few of the current topics she is researching include how to take an accounting course online.

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