The thought of publishing my own book was a dream of mine long before I established my own traditional publishing house for other authors. I realized early on, however, that the traditional publishing route can be daunting and often discouraging. That's why the idea of self-publishing came to me, as it often enters the mind of many writers. Staring down months of queries and an in-box full of rejections that might or might not reflect the actual quality of your work, it’s certainly tempting to say, “Why not just publish this myself?”
One of the biggest arguments against self-publishing is the lack of professional guidance and editing. Many authors fear that without a traditional publishing house, they won't receive the same level of editing, advice on their initial manuscript, or marketing support. (This is absolutely true, by the way.) Additionally, self-published books tend to carry the stigma of being low-quality or unprofessional (and it’s true that many are). Whether we like it or not, publishing your book with a traditional press provides more support, costs less, and opens more doors for an author than the DIY method. I feel honored that HIP operates as a traditional publishing house, and I intentionally established it that way.
Still, I understand that self-publishing makes sense for some authors (which is why HIP also offers editing and other services to authors who want to self-publish). There are reasons to seriously consider self-publishing. First, we must be clear on what I mean by "self-publishing." There's a huge difference between truly self-publishing a book and paying a vanity press to "publish" your book for you. In this article, I'm talking about the former of the two.
While it's true that proper self-publishing requires more work and responsibility from the author, there are resources available to help with editing, formatting, and marketing. In this article, we'll explore the whys of self-publishing and how it can be a positive choice for aspiring authors.
WHAT REASONS MIGHT LEAD TO A DECISION TO SELF-PUBLISH A BOOK?
As with many publishing industry-related topics, whether or not to self-publish will depend on your individual goals and preferences. Traditional publishing offers the allure of a prestigious publishing house, the potential for an advance, and likely as a wider distribution network through which to sell your title. However, it also comes with the risk of rejection (a great deal of it). Even if your manuscript is happily accepted, you often have to deal with a loss of some creative control.
On the other hand, self-publishing allows for complete creative control and a higher percentage of royalties. It also offers a faster publishing timeline and the ability to target niche audiences, as well as offering several other benefits. One of the most significant is the ability to keep all of your profits. True self-publishing means no one else’s fingers in your pie, so to speak.
Self-publishing also proffers a more direct relationship with readers. Traditional publishing houses often act as a middleman between the author and reader, but with self-publishing, authors have an enhanced ability to interact directly with their audience. This can lead to a more loyal and engaged fanbase.
Finally, self-publishing allows for more experimentation and risk-taking. Traditional publishing has made a bad habit of playing it safe with established genres and themes, but self-publishing allows for more unique and innovative ideas. This can lead to a more diverse and exciting literary landscape.
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING
One of the most common misconceptions about self-published books is that they are of lower quality. While this may have been true in the past, self-publishing has come a long way in terms of editing and design. Many self-published books today rival traditionally published books in terms of quality.
Another fallacy I will occasionally hear is that self-publishing is the easy way out. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, I’m afraid. While it may require less initial time and effort in terms of querying agents and publishers, proper self-publishing requires a significant amount of work and responsibility from the author. From editing to marketing, self-publishing requires a broad range of skills and, indeed, a great deal of time and dedication.
Many people believe that that self-publishing is only for unsuccessful authors who couldn't get traditionally published. While self-publishing can be a fallback option in such cases, it is most often a deliberate choice for authors who want more creative control over their work and royalties.
Self-publishing can be a daunting but rewarding experience for aspiring authors. While it requires more work and responsibility, it also offers complete creative control, faster publishing timelines, and higher royalties. By dispelling common misconceptions and understanding the self-publishing process, authors can achieve their dream of becoming a published author and reaching many readers. So, if for any reason you’re not comfortable with the often lengthy and difficult traditional publishing process, why not take the leap and self-publish your book? Try it anyway. Who knows, you may just become the next literary sensation.
Thank you for spending your valuable time here with us this morning. We hope to see you again at this time next week, at which point we should (hopefully) have a freshly redesigned website for the spring season.
We’re also very excited to announce the upcoming cover reveal for Faye Rapoport DesPres’s latest book, “SOUL TO SOUL: TINY STORIES OF HOPE AND RESILIENCE.” The reveal will be held right here on HuntsvilleIndependent.com on April 11th, 2023, and will also be available to view on Twitter @HIPHuntsville. We can’t wait to hear what you think of renowned European artist Anya Lauchlan’s exquisite visual interpretation of this highly evocative literary masterpiece. Until then, as we always say, have a positive and productive week!
Huntsville Independent Press
ABOUT HUNTSVILLE INDEPENDENT PRESS
Huntsville Independent Press is the premiere publishing imprint of the Southeast United States, and we want to help you, the author. HIP provides, at no cost to our signed authors, a better solution for the publication of your story. Our contracts are non-restrictive and offer higher royalties for our authors. No HIP advance is taken out of royalties. Your advance from us is a one-time payment for the privilege to publish your book and is not a loan. Our passionate team of editors work diligently to ensure that the uniqueness of your story is preserved through the editing process. While you’re here, feel free to look around to see if Huntsville Independent Press is the right home for your work. We are always happy to have talented authors find a publishing home here with us.