A few years ago, self-publishing was a bit frowned upon. Many authors and readers believed that a book could get prestige only through traditional publishing.
This was probably the result of not having access to the right tools to get a self-published book to a stellar form and then promote it as it deserves.
Luckily, we had many examples throughout the years that showed us self-published authors still get millions of readers.
LJ Ross, Rachel Abbott, and Robert Kiyosaki, to name a few.
This encouraged many others.
Talented authors who can’t seem to get accepted by traditional publishers shouldn’t fret about it and try the other option because, believe it or not, this is the best time to get self-published.
Let’s see why.
Tools and Platforms
Today, everything, and I mean everything is more accessible than it was a few years back. Just think about it. Streaming platforms, food at a tap away, podcasts, learning platforms, online degrees, and so on.
This includes publishing a book too.
If an author wanted (or had to) take the self-publishing road, let’s say, ten years ago, there was little to no guidance on how they should do it.
They had to learn basic code to manage their ebook conversion and didn’t know how to promote their books.
But now, the tools that are out there make the process easy.
Today, an author
- Can write their book in Google Docs.
- Proofread it in Grammarly.
- Convert it to an ebook format, publish, distribute, and promote it through an aggregator or a retailer.
You can even test different platforms to see which works best for you. Besides other retailers and aggregators, a popular option nowadays is Kindle Direct Publishing and its other option, Kindle Direct Publishing Select.
Publish on KDP Select (a 90-day exclusivity program, meaning you can’t publish the same book with another platform during that time) and see how your book performs there.
After those 90 days, you can choose another retailer or aggregator to publish your book and go wide.
Or, you can do it the other way around. Publish with an aggregator or other retailers, then move to KDP Select.
Just keep in mind that if you publish with an aggregator first, when you decide to go into KDP Select, you have to withdraw your book from all the other stores.
Since there are many tools and self-publishing platforms to help authors in their publishing process, they are also made financially accessible to everyone embarking on this journey.
Plus, if a self-published author needs additional support editing their book, they can easily find a professional editor on a platform like Fiverr.
Book cover design is also something everyone can do if they use a platform like Canva: it’s cheap or even free and has many templates to inspire you.
When it comes to paperback, print-on-demand wasn’t a popular option back in the day, so any author who wanted to publish a book in a paperback format had to pre-fund a print run. Nowadays, the print-on-demand format is accessible on most self-publishing platforms, making it easier and cheaper for authors to offer the paperback format as an alternative or in addition to ebooks.
So, while authors have more options to publish their books in different formats, readers can enjoy their preferred format. It’s a win-win situation.
The platforms and budget options aren’t the only changes in the book industry. Readers changed their perception of self-published authors. If they picked only books from famous publishers years ago, now they are more open to reading indie authors.
Because each party encouraged the other, indie authors, too, had more trust in publishing independently. In this way, their books didn’t end up just a manuscript somewhere in their Google Drive, but an ebook available for print-on-demand too.
No More Unpublished Authors
Another significant advantage of self-publishing is that no author will remain unpublished. They just have to find the platforms and tools that fit their needs.
The only challenge that comes with this opportunity is a saturated market. So, more than having a book published is required.
You have to invest your time and energy in promoting it.
But this shouldn’t stop you from self-publishing. You can choose an aggregator that helps you go wide and has marketing promotion features.
Plus, you can create a powerful social media presence and start promoting your book there.
Communities of Like-Minded People
We live in the digital age, where everything is connected. Whenever someone needs guidance on something, we have easy access to world-leading experts or to communities that can help us overcome any struggles.
This goes for the book industry too. Whenever you need advice with your self-publishing journey, there are communities or Facebook groups you can join. Ask the other group members your publishing-related questions and get your needed answers.
You can also follow blogs, newsletters, or podcasts for advice. Among the book-related podcasts (which is a hot format right now), you can follow the Creative Penn Podcast for Writers, The Self Publishing Show, or Self-Publishing with Dale.
If this didn’t convince you to start your authoring career, let me tell you a few benefits of self-publishing.
- You get to keep around 60-70% of the royalties from each book sold, depending on the online store you are selling in.
- You can keep all the rights you’re purchasing (e.g., the artwork you use).
- You can do everything at your own pace without external pressure.
- You decide how the entire process should be done.
- You have complete creative control over the book’s content and appearance.
- You’re your own agent and boss.
With all the resources at your disposal, you could start being a self-published author whenever you feel ready. All you need to do is finish your book and find suitable options for you that will support your publishing and marketing efforts.
This guest post has been written by Amalia Mădălina Pop. Amalia is a content marketer at PublishDrive who loves reading and writing and recently became a video games enthusiast, taking over the Xbox console from her house. Cinephile with a precise aspiration to watch as many movies as possible in a lifetime.