To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish
Web sites and books listed on my site offer enthusiastic and reliable information about self-publishing. I selected sites and books by people who have been successful in this area. However, I’d like to present some cautions for anyone considering self-publishing. Consider the following questions:
Do I have time?
You will need to spend a lot of time finding a good book manufacturer, researching promotion and publicity possibilities, learning about running a small business, being a sales person, doing your own editing, presenting your book at trade shows or speciality conventions pertaining to your subject matter, taking part in other publicity activities, etc. Developing and promoting your own web site can also be very helpful. All of this is time consuming unless you hire someone to do it for you.
Do I know how to run a small business?
If you don’t know how, are you willing to learn or hire someone to do it for you? Bookkeeping classes, books, and computer programs might be needed.
Am I a sales person?
There are many books and classes you can take to develop these skills. Since you will be enthusiastic about your product, learning to sell it might not present many problems. However, some sales techniques are more successful than others. Are you willing to learn these or hire someone to sell your product?
How are my management skills?
You will be doing many different jobs for your business.
Do I believe in my product enough to do a lot of promotion?
Some people call self-publishing, self-promotion. It is helpful to forget the idea of self-promotion. Some people are uncomfortable about the idea of promoting themselves. You are promoting a product. You are not promoting yourself. You are seeking the right audience who knows how to appreciate the opportunity to invest in your product. You also have confidence that the right audience is out there. You just have to find it. Even if your book is published by an established company, the author’s part in promotion is vital for the life of the book.
Do I have a plan for national distribution?
You will sell a number of books locally but will you sell enough to cover printing costs and give you a profit? Consider how other books like yours are marketed. Self-help, inspirational, and how-to books tend to be some of the more successful self-published books. Many educators write educational books which are carried by educational catalogs. Other specialists find a welcome audience through national groups dealing with their speciality area. Some people have found that selling online is helpful. Take a close look at the marketing methods for your type of book.
Do I have the money to invest in a project that might not work?
This is often the first question people consider about self-publishing. I suggest that it should be considered only after you have satisfactory answers to the other questions. ZombiePoetry
If you decide to self-publish, Published.com is one of many resources for promoting your work. They link to your website. Selling is done on your site rather than through their site.