Self-publishing is losing its stigma. Why? Well, the bottom line is money talks. The market has spoken, and the market likes buying self-published books, especially digital books. Even so called vanity press shops are being usurped by savvy writers who are taking matters into their own hands and doing the work themselves. If you’re looking to self-publish your work, whether an information product, a “how to” book, or a novel, you can do it yourself without going through a traditional publisher.
What’s more, you’ll probably make more money anyway. But, maybe money from the book itself isn’t even your goal. Perhaps you are a public speaker and want something to offer attendees at your events. Maybe you’re a life coach and want to offer a tangible product to your clients, or you want a terrific marketing piece to help you get new clients. Whatever your reasons, if you choose to self-publish, another excellent reason is that you get to keep all the rights to your own work, and thus keep more of the profit for yourself.
The fact is, if you’re not already famous, and don’t have millions of fans clamoring to buy your book, the traditional publishing houses probably won’t spend that much time with you anyway. They’re going to expect that you’ll spend a substantial amount of time, money and effort doing your own marketing. And, if you’re successful, they’re going to take all the credit and most of the profit. Traditional publishers know this, which is why some of them are offering self-publishing services to authors they turn down. If you become successful, they’ll suddenly offer you a contract.
If you think traditional publishers are the end all and be all on who is a good writer, think again. There are plenty of examples of poorly written best sellers out there, so don’t allow the idea that a traditional publishing contract designates you as a good writer. The truth is, even the best writing might not sell well. Today, traditional publishers are focused on niche markets which sell, regardless of whether or not the writer writes well. Once you hand over the work to a traditional publisher, you’ll have to accept their end result, even if you’re less than thrilled. As a self-publisher, you can ensure that your work is edited to perfection and is the best product that you can produce, without giving away your rights to a traditional publisher.
Consider the query letter that authors must write to a traditional publisher. It must include the target audience and what the author plans to do to market to that audience. That means you’re doing all the work. There is hardly any advantage to having a traditional publisher today. Once you realize that, you can also realize that self-publishing is a serious alternative that any author should consider. Especially one who can use Internet marketing principles to their advantage. Why not keep your rights, forever, make all the money, and ensure that your product is the best it can be if you’re going to be the one ultimately responsible for everything anyway?