Self-Publishing Primer: Part 7 – Who should self-publish?

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

We’ve looked at the pros and cons of self-publishing, but that doesn’t answer the question of whether self-publishing is appropriate for you and your book. Let’s look more closely at who should self-publish:

You might be a good candidate for self-publishing if …

  • You like being in control, handle responsibility well, and are good at making decisions.
  • You understand that being in control means hiring help, asking advice, or delegating some aspects of publication that you’re not qualified or don’t have the time to handle.
  • You enjoy being an entrepreneur or at least are willing to treat your book like a business.
  • You have the self-motivation and initiative to see the project through from beginning (writing the manuscript) to end (promoting and selling books).
  • You can adapt from writing in solitude to communicating your marketing message in public.
  • You want your book published in less time than the one to three years typical in commercial publishing.
  • You are willing to take risks and spend money in anticipation of greater returns.
  • Your book appeals to a niche market that is hard for a mass-market publisher to reach.
  • You have a platform – you have a reputation as an expert in your industry; you are a public speaker with the opportunity to sell books to your audiences; you are part of the community that makes up the niche market for your book.

You might not be a good candidate for self-publishing if …

  • You do not like responsibility and making decisions.
  • You want to be in control – and that means you don’t listen to anyone else’s advice.
  • You don’t want to deal with the business or you consider your book an artistic creation and not a product.
  • You are easily distracted or discouraged or you don’t like to handle complex projects.
  • You like the quiet life of being a writer and do not want to become actively involved or you do not have (and not are not willing to learn) good communication skills.
  • Your book is timeless so it doesn’t matter when it’s published.
  • You are risk-averse or don’t want to spend your own money.
  • Your book has a wide appeal to a mass market, and you expect it to sell hundreds of thousands of copies.
  • You do not have a platform to use to sell your book and are not willing to do what it takes to develop one.

For other views of who should self-publish, read the following articles:

  • The Pro’s and Con’s of Self-Publishing by Annette Graf on Go Publish Yourself – this one includes some good questions to ask yourself
  • Self Publishing Your Own Book: When Should You Consider It? by Donna Mascle on To Publish a Book – this one says real writers, control freaks, and money grubbers should consider self-publishing
  • Self-Publishing FAQ by Moira Allen at – this one talks about reasons NOT to self-publish and what kinds of books are best for self-publishing

The next post will give you resources for help with writing your book.

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

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