What is self-publishing and, why is it so popular? It is the publication of a book, magazine, or any other written media by the author. It may be digital or hard copy.
In the past, the only way to get published was to go through a traditional publisher. They have everything set up to help you get your book to your potential readers. Then, everything changed. I am a storyteller and, I love good stories. Here is one of my favourite stories about self-publishing.
Once upon a time, in 2007, Amazon, the world's number self-publishing platform, made two incredible launches.
They launched the Kindle reader, a small device you could put in your purse and carry everywhere you went. It was the first of its kind. What was the intended use? You can download millions of books and take them with you, read on this little device. At the time, smartphones, as we know them today, was not a thing. The Kindle reader was dubbed the iPod of books!
About a decade ago, we could not read books on a device. I struggle to remember that era. When I try explaining that to my teenagers, they look at me like, "you must be from mars!". That is why many considered the Kindle Reader innovative.
Then, in the same month, November 2007, Amazon also launched their self-publishing platform, KDP Kindle Direct Publishing. For the first time, ordinary people like you and I could transform our manuscripts into a book and become self-published authors.
Two years later in 2009, they launched what they called Createspace. Your manuscripts can now be converted to paperback formats. The great thing about this is that it is on print on demand. They print the book when someone orders so, you do not need a trailer load of your books printed, Which is helpful especially when you are starting out.
What makes this model even better is that it is free to publish on Amazon and you do not need any middleman to help you place your book on Amazon. It is accessible to everyone and easy to set up and publish.
Amazon is also the number one bookshop on earth so, whether you are traditionally published or self-published it is a place for your book to get exposure and to get in front of your potential reader. It is particularly important that new authors get their books there to gain the traction they need!
However, like many other things in life, there are limitations.
Let's start with the pros:
And now for the cons:
These are the top five pros and cons, I hope this is helpful in helping you decide what to do when you self-publish. Remember to do additional research, this is a simple guide to get you started.
I get asked this every time. And the answer is, it depends on what your goals are, how much work and resources you are want to put into achieving your goals. No one can predict how a book would do when published. For the same reason, no one can predict how a business will fare when set up. However, statistically, up to 90 per cent of businesses fail after five years.
Should people stop doing business because 90% fail? No! But they need to be more careful and alert to the reasons why businesses fail. One of the things people do is to market their product.
Many authors are okay with writing but are nervous about marketing(me inclusive). Why make delicious lemonade on a hot day, and hide your kiosk in the middle of the forest where no one can find you? Yes, a cold drink is best on a busy road where people will see and say, "that is what I need now!".
Here are reasons why it is worth giving writing and self-publishing a chance:
Are you a mom who wants to get self-published? Then, join my Facebook group by clicking the link below. Also, signup for my course "From Zero writing to Hero Writer, A Step By Step Guide to Writing and Self-Publishing". I can't wait to see you there.
Let us help you get the book from your head to paper!