Last week we considered the ‘pros’ of self-publishing, but there are some negative aspects too and it’s only fair to explain these so that you can make an informed decision on whether it’s for you.
Here they are:
* You are responsible for all the marketing of your book – you’ll have to put in a lot of time and effort to publicise your book. However, these days the budgets traditional publishers have for marketing are diminishing rapidly, so it’s likely that no matter what route to publishing you take, you’ll have to do most of the selling of your book. If you want plenty of useful information on how you would go about this – both online and face-to-face - then you might consider our Writing your Novel course which looks at this subject in a very practical way.
* You don’t have the benefit of professionals – this includes proof readers, editors, illustrators and cover designers, unless you want to pay to employ them on a freelance basis. I know you’re probably thinking that your English is good and you can proofread your manuscript as well as the next person, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to miss those little errors until it’s too late to do anything about them. As regards your book cover, it’s got to be professional to attract attention (many people still judge a book by its cover!) and designers don’t come cheap.
* There is still some stigma attached to self-published books – many people think that you are only self-publishing because you can’t get a traditional publisher interested. But, on the bright side, as more and more people start to self-publish this is becoming less of an issue.
* You’ll have to invest money if you want to see your book in print and send physical copies to people. And because your print run will probably be small then unit costs can be high. Even if you only want to produce an e-book, unless you can get to grips with the technology (which shouldn’t be too difficult) then you’ll have to pay someone to format your work for you.
So, what conclusions have you come to? Do you think self-publishing is for you, or not? If you do, you’ll be in good company. But think carefully – it’s a big decision to make!