Self-Publishing Primer: Part 5 – What is self-publishing?

You will find links to the other posts in the series at Self-Publishing Primer.

We’ve talked about other kinds of publishing, including subsidy publishing. Sometimes authors believe that subsidy publishing is the same as self-publishing because the author pays all the costs of production in both. In Subsidy Publishing vs. Self-Publishing, Writing-World gives a good explanation of the differences between subsidy publishing and self-publishing.

Now let’s look at self-publishing:

  • Rather than dealing with a publishing company, you the author create your own publishing company. You become a businessperson as well as a writer.
  • You as the author and publisher are responsible for all the costs of publishing the book. You own all the books that are printed, and you receive all the income from sales.
  • You are in complete control of all aspects of publication, including editorial decisions, design/layout, cover art, and printing. No one else can put a cover on your book that you don’t think accurately reflects the content. No one can make you edit out a secondary plot or change the title of your story.
  • You retain all rights to your book.
  • With the total control comes total responsibility. You have to learn what is involved in publishing and either perform every task yourself or hire someone else to do it. If you don’t make it happen, it doesn’t happen.
  • You can usually publish a book much faster than a traditional publisher.
  • Because anyone can self-publish a book – and there many poor quality self-published books hitting the market every day – they lack the credibility of books published by a conventional publisher. Bookstores and reviewers are often reluctant to review or carry self-published books.
  • The author is totally responsible for promotion, marketing, and distribution.

Next, we’ll consider the pros and cons of self-publishing.

[tags]publishing, self-publishing, writing[/tags]

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