(The truth) about self-publishing
You’ve written your book. What now?
More writers are choosing to self-publish and we applaud those who do. However, before you abandon traditional publishing, please consider a few essential points.
1. Write – publish – repeat
Unless you are in the 0.1% of writers whose debut novel is a bestseller, you won’t retire on the proceeds of your first book. Therefore, forget about that villa in Spain, new car or celebrity lifestyle. In fact, take a deep breath and forget about marketing, sales figures, and royalties.
A valuable piece of advice for any aspiring author: once you have finished your first novel, start writing your second. The more books you have, the more you will sell. Fact!
2. The best things in life are free
A favourite platitude, but untrue when it comes to self-publishing. Nobody wants to buy a book displaying a cover created with Microsoft Paint, and your mate who’s ‘pretty good’ on Photoshop won’t cut it either.
Friends and family will be happy to read your manuscript and point out your mistakes. However, they are not professional editors and don’t have the knowledge or required skills to give your work a polished finish.
If you want the best, skills cost money. You will need to invest in your creation.
3. The power of social media – truth or myth?
Every author is expected to have a presence on social media. While Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook can help build an email list and fan base, they do little to increase sales for new authors.
For social media to work, you need to pay for ads. Marketing your book is time-consuming, and time spent writing the day’s best tweet would be better spent learning about keywords, organising a blog tour or sending a press release.
4. You need to be the town crier
To sell 1,000 copies of your book, you need to reach over 10,000 readers who are interested in your genre. That’s the easy part. The hardest part is getting them to buy your book. Achieving this will require:
- A brilliant summary or description
- A standout book cover
- Reviews, reviews, and more reviews
This publishing malarkey is more difficult than people think!
5. Who wants to be a millionaire?
Recent research shows that the average self-published novel sells less than 100 copies. Using £2.99, as the average price on Amazon (UK), the earnings for an author from a self-published book, assuming a 70% royalty rate, would be around £210. Consequently, a 100,000-word novel will make less than half a penny per word.
Taking these figures into account, you have more chance of being struck by lightning than becoming a millionaire self-published author.
6. The great divide
The line between traditional and indie publishing can be blurry especially with the number of vanity publishers.
Each has its advantages. For example, a self-published book can be earning from day one. You keep all the royalties and don’t need to adhere to any advised changes.
On the other hand, a good publishing company will provide you with expert knowledge, take care of the editing, cover design, and marketing and leave you to concentrate on what you do best. Write!
7. The choice is yours
Self-publishing can be quick, affordable, and immensely satisfying. However, promotion and marketing are time-consuming and likely to be difficult. With a result of limited sales, the prospect can be daunting, and many authors dive in without understanding what challenges lie ahead.
One final whisper
We aim to help aspiring authors to keep their expectations realistic. If you want traditional publishing, we are always seeking new talent and accept unsolicited submissions.
For authors taking the self-publishing route, we offer a comprehensive range of services. Our professional editing and proofreading skills will ensure a flowing manuscript and polished finish. We also provide a choice of promotion and marketing support. From cover design to blog tours through to book trailers, our solutions are perfect.
(The choices shown below apply to writers who require help with self-publishing. Accepted authors receive a broad range of complimentary benefits as standard.