Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Top Three Reasons to Self-Publish

The number of self-published authors (known as indie authors) are creating a revolution as their number and success has continued to grow substantially over the last few years. Indie published books account for 39% of the unit sales for the top 7,000 best selling titles (in Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy, and Romance), according to The 7k Report from Author Earnings by High Howey. This is more than the top 5 publishers combined at 34%. This is creating quite a stir in the publishing world.

I am sure this is leading other authors to ask themselves if they are ready to self-publish their own works. Self-publishing is now mainstream in the literary world. Even though the option to self publish has been around for many years, often authors were hesitant to take what used to be considered a “leap of faith.”  But in today’s technologically advanced world where there are numerous online channels available through which to market and sell and e-readers and tablets within everyone’s reach, it is the perfect time to pursue self-publishing. It’s not only a popular choice today, but for many highly respected authors it is the preferred means to publishing their works. With the removal of the need to fight for shelf space and the ability to market directly to readers, indie authors can be on the same playing field and compete with bestselling authors backed by publishers.

There are clearly some distinct and worthwhile advantages to self-publishing whether you are publishing an electronic version or a print version or both; but we have narrowed it down to the top three reasons you should consider self-publishing.

Time is on Your Side
When you consider how long it takes to get a book published when dealing with a traditional publisher, there is a distinct advantage to self-publishing. In most instances an author is looking at months to years to actual publication when dealing with a traditional publishing company. This is because there are so many different people involved in the process. Self-publishing means that you can set your own timetable to accomplish all the associated tasks such as editing, cover selection and writing that needs to be done to complete your work without having to deal with multiple individuals. This will substantially reduce the time that is needed to get your work published.

You have Ultimate Control
An indie author remains in complete control of their own projects. Traditional publishers have their own agenda and politely force you to do things their way. They are looking out for their own best interest, instead of yours. But when you are solely in charge you can get things done the way you like them. This means that you are committed to your own success and not that of a huge publishing company. You can choose the designs you want or hire a design artist specifically to design your cover. It’s all up to you and you are in control of the entire publishing process when you self-publish. To the indie author this also means that when there is something that you do not like, you have the power to change it. It’s your project and you can do with it what you want – you have the power to succeed.

Indie authors can also expand their sales opportunities without needing approval from a publisher. For example, Babelcube offers an extremely easy way for authors to sell books in new language markets without any upfront cost. Even the book translation is free.

Percentage of the Profits
Indie authors keep a larger share of the sale price of their books. Large publishers typically give 25% of the net revenue to the author. Even though the average self-published book sells for less than a typical one from a traditional publisher, the 7k Report shows that the indie author still ends up with more money at the end of the sale. It shows that indie authors kept 47% of the daily revenue on Amazon paid to authors (again for the top 7,000 best sellers analyzed), while these sales only accounted for 24% of the gross Amazon sales dollars.

Even though you may pay out of pocket for a design artist or even an editor you are ultimately in control of where and how the money is spent and how much ends back up in your own pocket. By self-publishing you remain in control of all the related financial decisions and this translates into more profit for you.