Self Publishing for books is pretty much what it says it is, although it’s not nearly as complicated as you might think. It basically involves the author of the work having a little bit more of an input into the publishing procedures rather than being “taken on” by a publisher.
Self publishing a book has become very popular over the years and authors are now able to publish their own works with very little critical review. There are several ways in which this is done
- The internet is a relatively easy way to present a previously unheard of author or work. Books for sale online are rapidly taking off in the publishing world and online bookstores such as Amazon are no longer the only place to make your purchases.
- Desktop publishing systems can now produce effective books for sale, and although all the cost and effort of publishing the books belong to the author, so too does any profit.
- Subsidy publishers publish books for sale under their own imprint, and because they do so they are a little choosier about whom they take on. These books for sale are print on demand (see below) and the author is liable for many of the costs involved; usually in a one off payment at the commencement of their contract with the publisher. Authors do continue to use subsidy publishing simply because it gets their work out there and they receive royalty payments.
- Print on demand is another way in which authors can get their work out there to the masses without a publisher having to pay for the materials and the running costs of a huge print run. This allows an author to get their fiction or non fiction books on the market without a publisher taking too many risks. This increases the chance of a publisher taking on an author but it often requires the author to pay a prescribed fee for the original pre production costs that include things like editing and cover designs.
Why Self Publish?
There are many reasons to self publish your book and not least among them is the rather obvious desire to be in print. This is a strong desire and should not be ignored; particularly if you have a strong enough conviction that your book is worth reading. Usually if someone has spent long enough writing a book then there is a good chance that someone else might be interested in reading it.
Another good reason to self publish your work is that you can do away with the often tedious search for publishers to do it for you. These publishers have become so choosy about what they want these days that if you do get refused it’s often nothing to do with the quality of your work, and more to do with the “market demand” at the moment.
You should understand that online bookstore sales and high street bookstore sales are pretty much all that the average publisher looks at. They control the market basically, and they more than likely know the authors of all the popular genres for the next five years without taking on anyone new at all! The competition is fierce and the only way to get around this is to self publish your books and allow the public to decide whether it’s worth reading or not.