If you are a budding author, then Self-Publishing is a blessing in disguise. Those days are gone when publishers decided what should and shouldn’t be published. Authors these days prefer to write and publish. It provides freedom for authors to write freely. Earlier, the works were often scrutinized.
Novels began after the theatre for the consumption elite which caused the hegemony of elite writers in the early era of publishing. Many women writers struggled to publish their works due to male domination of the field. In the Indian context, it led to caste dominance in the literature world.
With coming of self-publishing there are probably fewer rejections and more suggestions about the submissions made to publishers. Although it compromises a bit on the quality of content, it also raises questions about the former scenario when only a handful of people’s works got published. What comprises “quality content” is another debate. Is it the content that exists for the market? Is it for some revolutionary activism? or Is it something a blend of both or something more than musings that play in the head of the author.
How does Self-Publishing work?
This is a very simple question with a simple answer-
- You write a book
- You get it edited
- You contact a publisher and get a self-publishing package or you contact Amazon for publishing
- Your submissions get approved and a contract gets signed, payments are made
- Your book gets published
It’s easier to publish these days than to make people read your book. Marketing your book is mainly in your hands no matter how much your publisher says that they are going to add marketing in your book package.
Things An Author Should Keep In Mind While Self-Publishing-
- The Reputation of the Publisher- This is the most important factor while choosing a publisher to self-publish. Have they ever scammed an author? probability is they will scam you too. Avoid fake publishing houses who run away after taking your money or publish books with grammar errors, etc.
- Your Budget For Self-Publishing- How much money are you willing to spend on your book? I use this method where I use 50% more money from my publishing budget for marketing my book. Try to get your editor and graphic designer for optimum quality.
- Your Target Audience- Who is your target audience? Has the publisher already published any work for that audience? Then you have found your publisher. The audience will probably be interested in your work too.
- Contract and offers by the publishers- Remember, you need to sign the contract and have pieces of evidence that your book has been signed to have safety. Also, don’t forget to check what the publisher is offering in self-publishing packages to make the most out of your deal.
- Distribution- Check how the distribution works before deciding who is going to publish your work. Usually retails take self-publishers for granted as they publish most of the work that comes in their way. The distribution will be a problem if you are bad at marketing and the retailers think that your book will not make their sales. Probably you will have to focus on self-distribution too.
- Royalty- check how much royalty they are giving to the author. It tells a lot about them.
Self-publishers are more transparent and allow you to publish freely. But they also have many drawbacks. Everything has their pros and cons and self-publishing is no different.