From The Book Designer:
To self-publish or not, that is the big question facing many of today’s authors. Today, Steven Booth, a publisher, offers his thoughts on what should be factors in this decision making process.
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Many authors are confused about when it is best to publish through traditional (including small press) publishers, and when to self-publish their work. I see this question every day on Facebook, and I hear it often in the writers and publishers groups I am associated with.
As an author who has self-published (without an imprint) as well as publishing my work through my small press company (I’ll get to that in a moment), I can understand the confusion about the pros and cons of publishing.
Here’s what I tell every author who will stand still long enough:
- If the work isn’t good enough for a publisher, it probably isn’t good enough to be self-published.
- If the work is good enough that a publisher wants to publish it, then seriously consider self-publishing before you sign the contract.
. . . .
But publishing is a business, and a good publisher will have a marketing niche that they can be successful in. Going outside of that niche is not cost-effective. But if you self-publish then your marketing niche is exactly what you have in your hands, and you will probably do a better job at marketing your own book than any publisher can—especially if it is a tough genre to label.
The caveat to self-publishing if you are offered a contract is that you have to remember that self-publishing is a business, and should be treated like one.
A self-publisher, when they do it correctly, is a small press with one author… you. For example, are you prepared to get:
- a fictitious business name
- a business license from your municipality
- start and maintain a website
- engage in and maintain a social media presence
- have a bank account for your small press that is separate from your personal account
- work on marketing your book at least once a day for the lifetime of your book
If not, then perhaps you would want to seriously consider traditional publishing?
Link to the rest at The Book Designer and thanks to Ant for the tip.