Self-publishing: A popular choice for novelists! Until a few years ago, self-publishing books was considered a huge taboo. Spending money to get one’s book published under one’s own expenses was looked at as a sub-par practice. But with recent trends, this opinion about self-publishing has changed, and it has quickly become one of the most favored methods of publishing! There are a few reasons why this happened.
Creative Freedom is Retained
A book is a writer’s creative pursuit. Imagining and creating stories is not an easy task, and a writer’s full extent of creativity is unleashed in the stories they write and the words they use. Self-publishing gives the writer a chance to retain their original creativity, instead of subjecting to the mold of the publishers.
Be it the cover or the title, self-publishing gives the author the complete freedom to choose every little thing about their book, including their name’s font and the placement of punctuation marks in their books. The creative freedom gives the author more room to work on their imagination and find the right thing for their novel with absolute control and lack of interference.
Traditional publishing means a wait time of months until the publisher takes up the manuscript and adjusts it to their preferences. The process can be strenuous and lead to the author compromising on a lot of their creative control including changing plot elements, the cover design and/or titles, etc. The wait time in months sometimes may also result in a delay in marketing and other book-related activities. Most traditional publishers do not agree to publish a book without a mandatory waiting period of a few months, and this leaves the authors with no option but to wait until the books are printed and ready.
But even with printing and publishing digitally, self-publishing gives the author more freedom with their timelines and lets them plan their own marketing and production strategies. Even with all the stigma against the costs involved in printing and publishing books on one’s own, self-publishing gives the author their own timeframe to work with comfortably.
One of the biggest hassles with books and publishing is deciding on the royalties. For retaining the moral right to assert a work as their own, authors are often left to choose between lower royalties and reduced returns. While this was not a problem until recently, when books were considered to be profitable only if they sold in bulk, self-publishing has opened a whole new world of book sales.
Giving proportionately more money per copy sold, and sometimes even pages read of books, self-published books also give the authors to set their own royalty returns and the pricing of the books. In most cases, this can prove beneficial because there is a chance to decide on the price as well as the returns, based on how well a book is received.
Absolute Authority over Marketing
One of the biggest myths of self-publishing is that it will lose the benefits offered by traditional publishing which includes marketing and promotions. While it is true that going with bigger publishing houses for traditional publishing gives more reputation, the same does not hold true for increased marketing.
Self-publishing also means that the author can form their own marketing strategies and execute them. These may include providing Advance Review Copies, making plans for reviews and honest ratings that would eventually help get the book noticed, and giveaways organized that bring the book to the reading crowd.
Providing Additional Individual Benefits
Since most traditional publishing houses refuse to take up books that are not from already established writers and/or show promise of a good readership or series continuation, most authors are required to look for alternative methods. And self-publishing stands as the best alternative to this day, making the author involved in every step of the way including the research phase and the execution phase.
The learning that happens as a part of the process can be used to understand the market and the target audience better, with the authors having the freedom to alter their promotional pitching accordingly. Self-publishing gives the author control over how their books are priced, what reading outlets are available, and what markets their books are sold in. These benefits transcend into long-term ones including making the author an established, actually published name in the industry.
Most authors now prefer self-publishing because of how the industry is evolving. With social media marketing and personalized mailing becoming the norm, authors get the benefits of publishing their works on their own terms and getting nearly the same reach as they would if they went for self-publishing.
The market demands are constantly changing, and the literary world needs to catch up with the same!
Dhivya Balaji is an Engineer turned Editor. She is the founder of Precis Penning Literary Services, through which she hopes to ease the stress of authors by providing an array of services.