Twenty years ago, a book followed a routine process: You poured your heart and soul into a manuscript and when you finished it, you started calling agents and editors who most likely told you to send them a query letter. Next step was usually a book proposal, and a few sample chapters. Then the waiting game started, usually ending with disappointment. On the other hand, the option to self-publish was there, but it had a certain stigma; a stigma that still exists today: “Your book isn’t really published because you couldn’t get it accepted by a “real publisher”. A real publisher? Excuse me for not laughing my butt off, are we not human beings? Or are Self-Publishers merely robots? Or are Traditional Publishers too foolish to know that the only difference between a Traditional Publisher and a Self-Publisher is that the Self-Publisher does everything themselves? Anyone can be a publisher.
The publisher is basically the one who puts up the money. If you invest in your own printing, you are a self-publisher. If you begin to take in manuscripts, you are a small publisher. If you grow, you become a large publisher. Technology just makes it easy and inexpensive to write, produce, publish and sell books. But Self-Publishing is not easy. We do not log into Create Space and push the publishing button (well, not all of us, I can’t speak for everyone. Yea, some of yall lazy like that). Self-Publishing just means you are in charge of the final direction of your book. Now the popularity and profit of your book is another story. But merely publishing it yourself is no different than having a large publishing company to publish it. It’s still published, you just have the power of a large company behind you when you publish traditionally, which ironically, makes it easier than Self-Publishing. In any event, today many Self-Publishers still wear this “badge of shame” for choosing not to go the traditional route, as if were the scarlet woman or something.
However, times have changed my friends. In today’s world, the boost in technology makes it possible for anyone to publish a book. This does not mean however, that because you’ve chosen to self-publish, that it’s automatically bad. Just because books are self-published, this does not mean they’re among America’s Top Worst Book Publishing List, nor does it suggest they’re among those who put no effort and energy behind their work. Surely there are lazy people out there, but laziness applies to everything that we do. Whether you’re writing a book or shooting a movie, you get out of it what you put in. As long as your book is professionally produced, with an eye-catching cover and compelling content, you can directly compete with any bestselling author if you put the time in to make it happen. Saying a Self-Published book isn’t really a book because it was self-published, is like saying a woman who had a C-Section isn’t really a mother because she didn’t have her baby vaginally.
4 Common Sense reasons it can benefit you to Self-Publish
Self-publishing can be the road to your independence. Do you dream of being your own boss? Do you desire more personal freedom? You can turn that dream into a reality. As a self-publisher, you own all rights to your book, whereas a traditional publisher would likely own the rights. If they lose interest in your book, you cannot print additional copies unless you purchase those rights back. Traditional publishers often require you to purchase your book from them to do any promotion you choose to do for your book. As your own publisher you print as many books as you need. Here is a dynamic, proven way to shape your own destiny.
Traditional publishers work on a long production cycle, they often plan a year to a year and a half—or even longer—to get a book out. As a self-publisher you can do it in a fraction of that time. It’s your material, your career move – you can take control of when you want to publish.
• Increased Income
Self-publishing offers the potential for huge profits. Like I said before, publishing a book is one thing, making money from it is another. When you use creativity, persistence, and sound business sense, money is there to be made. Most publishers require their authors to do their own promotion, but if you have to do your own promotion, why not self-publish it anyway and make more money? Even if you don’t make a lot of money, Self-Publishing gives you the opportunity to get back what you put in. If you set a plan and work hard at it, you’ll be making it rain in no time. Or, you can work hard only for some big time publisher to tell you that you’re just not good enough.
Self-publishing gives you the final say on the direction of your book. Your book reflects your vision and not someone else’s. You can personally guide every step, or hire professionals to be on your team. You can choose the cover you like, the typeface, and the title you want. You maintain absolute control over your own book.
Whether you choose to publish Traditionally, or Self-Publish, completing a book is a great accomplishment. As to whether or not you’re making money from it, that’s up to you. So go ahead, finish that masterpiece; self-publish if that’s what you want to do, defy the stereotypes, and live your happily ever after.
Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the YA, Historical Fiction author of The Stella Trilogy. She is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story” about a young black woman writer who dreams of taking part in The Harlem Renaissance movement and her parents struggle to accept their traumatic past in the Jim Crow south. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” is due for release spring, 2017. For updates on this project, sneak peek of chapters and the pending book cover release for this project, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.