Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Top Ten Reasons To Publish Your Own Book*

10. You don’t have to spend months or years composing and sending out queries that you hope will interest an agent or a publisher. Instead you can focus on polishing your book.

9. You don’t have to write synopses, books proposals, and marketing plans that meet the specifications of agents and publishers. Instead you can create your own marketing plan that fits your book and your preferred way of promoting it. And you don't have to write a synopsis or book proposal at all.

8. You can choose the title and cover design that you think best represents your book—instead of having a sales team choose the title and cover design they think will sell best.

7. You can decide what time of year your book comes out. (The one book I had published by a major publisher was released during the Christmas holidays, right before the publisher’s PR team took two weeks vacation).

6. You can maintain the integrity of your book. While editing is important for any book, there is editing that improves the writing and/or the content, and then there is editing that changes your book so much you feel like someone else wrote it. And they sorta did.

5. You can get your book out there in the marketplace quickly. People will read and respond to your book. Isn’t that why you wrote it? Keeping a manuscript in your desk drawer for years while you shop it around to agents and publishers is discouraging, and it doesn’t get you reader feedback or the satisfaction of having people read what you wrote.

4. Your book will stay in print as long as you want it to be out there. Mainstream publishers don’t give books much time to catch on with readers. If the book doesn’t sell well in the first few months, bookstores will return it to the publisher. Soon it will be remaindered and then out of print.

3. You can control the cover price of your book and whether it is hardcover or trade paper. Personally, I don’t see any reason to release fiction in hardcover, except for libraries. I don’t want to pay $25 for a novel and I don’t want readers to have to pay $25 for a novel I wrote. And if you publish your own book, you can buy copies inexpensively enough that you can offer good discounts to small local stores, book clubs, or other bulk purchasers

2. You retain all the rights to your book. If you want to put a sample chapter on your website or give a newsletter permission to publish an excerpt, you can. If you sell a chapter to a magazine, you get all the money. If you decide later to offer the book as an e-book or spin off parts of it into short booklets, you can.

1. You can make more money. You’re going to need to do most of the promotion for your book anyway, so why not get more reward for your efforts? You make very little money per book with a traditional publishing contract. If you are your own publisher, you can, and usually do, make more per book. If you are good at promoting your book, you can do well because you get all the profits.*

Note: These advantages apply to true self-publishers—which is where the author sets up a publishing business, purchases ISBN numbers, outsources tasks like editing, layout, cover design, and printing, and takes charge of the marketing and distribution of the book.