Is a solo path to publishing right for you? Many writers take this route to place their thoughts and dreams into the hands of readers today. Although the exact number of self-publishing superheroes in the world is unknown, we do know that interest in this industry trend is growing; more than one million US books were self-published in 2017 by smart self-starter authors.1
What is Self-Publishing?
So is self-publishing as easy as placing a final neatly packaged manuscript up for grabs on Amazon? Sometimes. Self-published writers take their work from final draft to published piece at their own expense without the help of a traditional publisher. This often means working directly with specialized professionals throughout the publishing process, from editing and proofreading to layout and cover design, to transform one magical manuscript into an author’s beautiful book.
But if this method requires the extra effort of finding and individually working with editors, proofreaders, graphic artists, book designers, distributors, retailers, and others, then why are more writers embracing the challenging self-pub life? Isn’t it easier to let a traditional publisher handle all of these tricky tasks? Well, yes and no. While trusting a traditional publisher to birth your book baby into the world may seem like an easy and worry-free path, it typically means relinquishing control over many aspects of the publishing process.
That’s why it’s important to consider all of the options available to you and your book baby before diving into a long-term relationship with a publishing heavyweight.
3 Reasons to Explore Self-Publishing
What part of the publishing process most excites you? What are you looking to gain from publishing your book? What type of experience do you see yourself having? Many talented writers have found success with self-publishing. Take some time to reflect on your needs and goals to determine if it’s the right path for you too, and consider the reasons we’ll share as you draw up your pros and cons list.
1. You want more creative control over your masterpiece.
It's safe to say that most writers will want complete control over the way their writing is presented to readers. When you're meticulous with your words, you tend to be meticulous about how they’re read by others. And you may have heard the rumor that traditional publishers become the decision-makers once a manuscript is in their hands. They may not have the last say when it comes to editing your work if they have smart editors on their side, but traditional publishers do get to pick your book’s formatting, cover design, publish date, marketing strategy, and overall position in the market. For authors looking to retain a little more creative control, following your design dreams via self-publishing is the way to go.
2. You want to share your passion project with the world.
If you’re a writer, you know the feeling. The words inside must come out and onto the page, and even if they take a little time to get there, you know at your core that the story they make together is well worth the wait. But after all the time it takes to craft and perfect your passion project, you will need a patient heart to go through the many months it can take to make your work publish-ready through the traditional route. For writers of self-help and memoir especially, sharing a story with friends, family, and small circles of devoted fans without having to play by the rules of a traditional publisher is what serves them best. If this sounds like your ideal scenario, DIY publishing might be perfect for you.
3. You’re finding the traditional route challenging.
Taking a nontraditional approach may be better for you and your work, especially if you’re on your first writing journey. Many first-time authors become frustrated with chasing agents, submitting queries, and facing repeated rejection. Many more connect with interested publishers only to be pressured into giving up their creative power. There’s really nothing wrong with taking the path of least resistance when it’s a viable option. You may even build an authentic and loyal following for your book through self-publishing, which will make you all the more attractive to agents if you decide to give conventional publishing another go.
Did you know that these successful writers began their careers without the help of a traditional publisher? Well, now you do. Read it and weep (or rejoice—self-publishing may be exactly what you need to share your voice with those who want to listen):
Lisa Genova, Still Alice
E. L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey
Andy Weir, The Martian
Richard N. Bolles, What Color is Your Parachute?
Getting Started with Self-Publishing
Do you have a work in progress or a finished manuscript that you’d like to self-publish? The editors at DeVore Editorial can answer any questions you may have about the process and help you refine your masterpiece to get it ready for the world to see. Speak to our experienced team today to learn more about our services and self-publishing expertise.