In 2015, when Joanna Penn hosted a talk at Nottingham Writers’ Studio on “how to make a living from your writing“, her talk included and discarded many of the myths around self-publishing and inspired me to prowl after it too. The basic reason for me to chase this topic is because there was a time—and not all that long ago—when self-publishing was considered nothing short of heresy and the so-called “vanity houses” would produce your book, for a price.
Besides all this, also comes an old argument: with a bloated book marketplace being invaded by millions of self-published titles, readers can count only on publishers to maintain quality literary standards, as they allow only the nonpareil stories to be told.
It is false for not one or two, but many reasons-the major ones, thus, let me drive you through the myths about self-publishing.
SELF PUBLISHED BOOKS HAVE LESSER QUALITY
This is like trapped in the mindset of every person who knows a bit about publishing. “Little knowledge is more dangerous than no knowledge”, a very famous quote which is perfect for myths of self-publishing.
Do you really think a book going through a gatekeeper (traditional publishers) is a sign of quality?
Not all traditional publishers have professionals who can identify talent. JK Rowling’s first manuscript was turned down by eight publishers. This was before Bloomsbury offered her a 2,500 pound advance for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” Robert M. Pirsig’s book- “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” was also rejected by 121 publishers. Later on, went on to sell 5 million copies in the 1970s. Not saying these were self-published, but saying” NOT ALL YOUR DESIRED TRADITIONAL PUBLISHERS WOULD GUARANTEE A HIT FROM YOUR BOOK”
Self-publishing comprises proof-reading and other things that require detailed and intricate attention of the author himself so the main essence of the book remains!
SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS NEED TO MARKET THEIR BOOKS MORE
(Traditional publishers will do it all for you)
The conjecture that traditional publishers will do all of your marketing for you is one of the biggest myths when it comes to traditional publishing.
Even if the publisher proposes to do all the work, greater will your budget become. Unfortunately, unless you already have a big platform, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll get a fat cheque or a decent marketing budget. If your book sales are already paltry, it’s highly unlikely that publishers will reach into their pockets and promote it for you to try and fix this. When you are a self-publisher, all the ascendancies and non-performance are your own. That’s part of it what I like. Authors have indeed learned far more by pursuing this path than they would have by pursuing traditional publishing.
A SELF PUBLISHED BOOK IS EASILY DISTINGUISHED
· A cover that looks like it has been made on Word
· Non-existent margins
· Text is full of errors.
These send chills down the spine of any author wanting to pursue self-publishing. However, the truth is that not all self-published books suffer these problems, it just depends on who worked on the book.
There are a lot of writers who proofread their own book; edit it as perfectly as any other editor could cause overall even publishers are human…Any man can do what any other man has done! So, why not Self-publishers!? After having said this, as a self-publisher, you do not have to wear every gown yourself. Investing in a qualified editor, an experienced book designer (not a graphic designer) and expert book printers can make all the difference. All it needs is understanding the anatomy of a book. This comes from experience, and it pays off to rely on the knowledge and skills of experts.
YOU CAN BE FREE AFTER STRIKING A BOOK DEAL WITH A TRADITIONAL PUBLISHER
Every line I write, I feel sarcasm mocking at me! Loyalty to, forget authors, to anyone is largely a thing of the past. A traditional publisher controls the career of the author. And today, it’s all about the sales of your last book. If your new book doesn’t compete effectively, the publisher will not want your next one.
Besides these, you cannot expect yourself as an author to Netflix and chill after you’ve handed over your manuscript. Editors will constantly bug you for corrections. And if this doesn’t suffice, you must be present during all trades related to your book to “carefully manage” book sales (almost all that you do while self-publishing).
Furthermore, there’s an additional catch in almost every publishing contract — and it doesn’t favor authors. The standard publishing contract stipulates that publishers get first right of refusal on your next book — meaning, they can say a NO to publish your next book if they don’t want to.
SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS DON’T MAKE ANY MONEY
Let’s be honest: writing a book is a dynamic career. It totally depends on the book in-store, whether you are traditionally or independently published. How successful you are in either traditional or indie also depends on your content matter and your marketing abilities. Speakers, for instance, are pretty much guaranteed to make more by going indie. Some fiction authors, like Donna Fasano, have actually switched from traditional to indie publishing and made more money.
I hope you no longer have these myths about self-publishing. Anyhow, the choice rests with you. Whether traditional or self, your matter is what will make u stand out! If it’s Self-Publishing, then why not talk to our Publishing Consultants and get complete assistance.