Are you interested in self-publishing a book you’ve been working on? Or perhaps you have expertise in a specific area that there simply aren’t very many, if any, books on? There are so many self-publishing myths out there that can really scare aspiring authors away from publishing their own works, which is a total shame! So, we’re going to take a look at seven prevalent self-publishing myths that you simply shouldn’t believe.
Only Untalented People Self-Publish
One of the most common self-publishing myths is that only untalented people do it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. First of all, readers often can’t tell the difference between a self-published book and one from a major publishing house, especially when purchasing it online. There are many successful self-published authors that don’t even bother pitching their book ideas to large companies because they have been so successful. In fact, many famous authors, including E.L. James, started out self-publishing!
No One Reads Self-Published Books
So not true! Self-published books actually made up 31% of sales in the Kindle Store in 2014. Not only do people read and enjoy self-published books, some people actually prefer small indie authors. The only way to guarantee no one will ever read your book is not to publish it.
It’s Expensive to Self-Publish
Sure, there are scams out there that will ask you to pay to publish your own book. Keyword there being “scam.” With new technology through Amazon and Barnes and Noble, you can self-publish a book with $0 out of pocket.
Not only is self-publishing cheap, it’s also fast. Authors with a completed manuscript can have their e-book up and running in as little as 15 minutes with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. What’s more, you can edit them! One of the best aspects about Amazon’s KDP program is that you can upload an updated version or second edition without haggling with a publisher. Even better, any updates are made available for individuals who have already purchased your book too.
Self-Published Authors Make No Money
As Amazon’s Kindle and other forms of digital entertainment continue to grow, more and more people are actually making their livings self-publishing their own works online. And, if you want to get nitty-gritty, self-published authors get higher percentages of their royalties. Publishing houses have to make money on your book too, which means you’re sharing the profits from each sale. When you self-publish, you’re the only one reaping the rewards from all your hard work!
There’s Nowhere to Go After Self-Publishing
Another fallacy. Authors can absolutely move from self-publishing to working with major publishing companies. All it takes is a track record of success. A good example of this is E.L. James and the 50 Shades series. James was self-publishing long before ever being picked up by a publishing house.
And consider this: publishing companies are constantly taking risks on new authors. If you have a huge following and are already selling thousands of copies of a self-published book, you’ve already proven you’d be a valuable addition to their company. Not only are you a good writer, but you also have a pre-established following who love to buy your books. This makes your future work more easily marketable for a publishing house and, ultimately, lowers their risk.
Books That Are Self-Published Are Lower Quality
One of the other major self-publishing myths is self-published books are often lower quality than what comes out of a major publishing house. There’s probably several instances where this is true, but let me be clear – self-published authors can absolutely learn and hone the skills needed to write, edit, and format their own books so that they can look extremely professional and compete well in stores. The required technology (like Adobe and Photoshop) is literally at your fingertips and, luckily, it’s easier to use and less expensive than ever before.
Further, it’s easier and cheaper to hire great help as well. An aspiring author can find experienced editors on sites like Fiverr, UpWork, and even Craigslist. The same goes for children’s book and cover illustrators. There are some incredibly talented people out there who are grinding day in and day out, just like you are. Use their expertise to help both your dreams come true.
Ultimately, self-published authors control their entire creative process and are just as likely, if not more likely, to put forth amazing effort to make their work perfect. This is because it’s solely and completely their own and their work is a reflection of who they are.
Authors Who Self-Publish Spend More Time Marketing
While self-published authors might have spent significantly more time marketing their books than those authors associated with a publishing house in the past, this simply isn’t the case anymore. It’s important to know is that publishing companies now look for authors who can demonstrate an ability to self-promote. Even the most famous authors have to spend time marketing their new works.
It’s also worth noting that companies like Amazon and Barnes and Noble do an incredible job promoting your work through their own sales channels. Simply put, they receive royalties on the books you sell, and, as a result, they want you to sell more copies.
Whether you go the traditional publishing or self-publishing route, you’ll always need to spend time marketing your work.
Don’t Let Self-Publishing Myths Hold You Back
In the end, while there are undoubtedly many, many myths about self-publishing your own books, they are just that – myths. Don’t let them hold you back from reaching your goals.
Ready to get started? I’m currently working on a course to help others learn how to write and publish their own children’s books – sign up for my Bowyer Writes Words for Writers newsletter for updates. Please feel free to send me questions or suggestions so I can make this course as useful as possible!