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Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-21-2008
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Should you Self-Publish?

[ Edited ]
So you’ve written a book, now what? Well you can try to submit it to a publishing house and see if it gets accepted. Publishers can take several months or more to review a manuscript and many have a high turn-down rate for new authors. If your manuscript is accepted, you may still be responsible for the promotion of your work, especially with smaller publishing houses. Some authors find that larger publishing houses are less desirable as the author does not get the individual attention they may want. This option is still the traditional and more preferred method however as it requires the least time, cost, and publishing knowledge from the author.

Another alternative is to self-publish. This can be done in two ways: vanity or POD (Print On Demand) publishing is one option. Vanity/POD publishing houses can provide everything you need to publish your book including editing, cover design, typesetting, ISBN number, and barcode, but at a cost for each service. Some vanity/POD houses may also offer advertising services however these services may be limited. Vanity/POD publishing requires the author to pay for the entire project and can become quite costly. Nonetheless, there are advantages to this type of publishing: you do not have to order hundreds or thousands of books at a time, or provide storage/warehousing for your inventory. They may also provide order fulfillment services for your title and include it in their store/website.

Starting your own publishing company can also be a big expense and require a lot of your time. For many people though, this option is more appealing as you have more control over your title(s) and can branch out to publishing other authors’ works as well. Author beware, self publishing has its drawbacks as well. Many bookstores, distributors, and wholesalers prefer not to work with self-published or small publishing houses. It may also be frustrating trying to learn the ropes. For every yes, you will probably experience 10 or more no’s. Self-publishers must learn everything from pre-production (getting your book ready for printing), production (finding the right printing company, etc.), and post-production (marketing, sales, etc.). Some things, like advertising, may be an extremely complicated process to master. But you will find that when you do, the rewards are great. It is a wonderful accomplishment, to not only have written a book, but to also be a successful business owner.

Message Edited by aroundthewaybooks on 06-21-2008 10:11 PM
You don't just read the words, you experience the stories.
Posts: 382
Registered: ‎07-12-2007
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Re: Should you Self-Publish?

Another word of caution: If you self-publish don't use that as a reference on future query letters to actual agents and publishers. They don't respect that as a form of credential. Self-publishing is very rewarding if you just want to see your book in print. You will have all your own marketing to do if you self-publish as well. There are pros and cons. Weigh them carefully and then decide what would make you happiest. I know a few authors who have self-published and are content with the results. It's a matter of personal choice.