Advantages and Disadvantages of Self Publishing

Self publishing is a method of publishing which is becoming increasingly popular, especially with a business minded individuals and people of Generation Y. These people are choosing to pursue the self publishing avenue because of the various benefits it holds over traditional publishing. While each publishing method has its own advantages and disadvantages, it is important to firstly evaluate each publishing decision against your personal goals and conditions. However, as the competitive nature of the publishing industry continues to grow, self publishing appears to be evolving as a more popular choice.

The advantages of self publishing are:

1. Great income potential

Unlike the ten per cent royalty you would receive by going with a major publisher, self publishing offers you the opportunity to earn a lot more because you are in control of where the money is spent. Essentially you are cutting out the middle man, the publisher, by producing the book yourself and taking it straight to the reader.

2. More creative control

Self publishing offers you the chance to maintain total control because it’s your book. You are the final decision maker, so you make the choices that you feel is in the best interest of your book.

3. Speed-to-market

Although typically a major publisher takes 12-18 months to take a manuscript, turn it into a book, then get it onto bookshelves; understand that they have the resources to complete this process in two months. However, as a self publisher you can produce a book in 31 days; distributing your book can take a bit longer, but you have the power to get your book into bookstores within two months if you want to.

The disadvantages of self publishing are:

1. Cashflow

Self publishing is a process that requires a large upfront cost. While there are ways to get around this, usually a significant investment is required. This investment can be $5,000, it could $50,000; it usually varies depending on the size of your print run.

2. Time-consuming

As you will be managing every step of the book publishing process, self publishing can absorb a lot of your time. This is even more so when your first start out because you are also learning at the same time. However, with experience it does become easier but it does require great time management.

3. No distribution

The benefit of going with a major publisher is that they already have guaranteed channels for distribution. This is not the case for self publishers. Just because you self publish a book, it doesn’t mean that it’s ever going to get into a bookshop. Bookshops receive a number of books every day, so they want to know that your book will sell.

In summary Self publishing can be an enjoyable process, however, it’s not suited to all people. If you are not interested in the publishing process, don’t have the money or time, or don’t have the desire to learn the skills required then perhaps this publishing avenue is not for you. However, if you want to make more money, have total control, and get your book into the market as soon as possible then maybe you have the makings of a successful self publisher.


Dale Beaumont is the author of this article. He is an internationally renowned book publishing expert, the author of 16 best-selling books and the creator of the Get Published Secrets Program.  

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