Every writer’s dream of signing a publishing contract is becoming harder to make reality. Unless you are already a best selling author or celebrity, publishing companies have become harder to please. Self-Publishing has become the saving grace for writers who do not have the means to be represented by professional companies.
“Self-publishing has become very easy and affordable,” said Lisa Adams, Book Publishing professor for Continuing Education. “The amount of editors that are looking for books in the traditional world has shrunk. It was always really hard to get a book published and now it is exponentially hard.”
Companies like Amazon, Lulu, Infinity Publishing and more, make self-publishing possible. All the author has to do is write a story, decide whether they want it to be Print On Demand (POD), an E-book or both. Once they decided they upload their manuscript, choose their cover, font, price and voilà. Their story is available for sale online.
POD and E-books are a lot less costly than books that are published traditionally. POD books help cut down on the presale costs when an author has to pay a lot of money upfront for a business to print copies of their books. If they print more books than are sold, the author loses money. With POD, the publishing site does not print a book until an order comes in then, the price for print is deducted from the money the author receives from the book sale. E-books have no printing cost, thus the author is able to receive more royalties from their sales.
A self-published author has the joy of dodging the long wait time and process that is inevitable when publishing traditionally. The process of getting a book published traditionally can be stressful with all of the people the book goes through and the process of making the book meet the standards of the company. Self-publishing gives the author control over their creation. “Compared to the traditional process, as an author you have control over your project,” said Adams. “You decided the title, cover etcetera. In traditional publishing, the publisher decides everything and has the right to change anything they want to.”
Like many things in life, self-publishing has its setbacks. Books that aren’t published professionally have a reputation of being low quality. “There’s still a stigma, although it’s decreasing where people assume that self-published books are low quality and many of them are,”said Adams. “It’s because you can publish anything you want. Nobody says you have to get them proofread or looked at by other people.”
There are ways to fix that. If the author wants the best possible high-quality book, there is money involved. Hiring someone to proofread, edit and work on the interior design is recommended to give a book its best chance at looking as if the biggest companies published it.
“When you self publish right, it is important not to skip the important steps and hire editors and proofreaders to do the job of traditional publishers but you don’t have to,” said Adams.
One of the best things about publishing traditionally is the contract bonus. The company gives the author money to take care of the initial cost of the book. With self-publishing, you’re all on your own. Having to put the money up front can be a hard pill to swallow but the cost shouldn’t set you back too far. “You can self-publish a book for almost nothing,” said Adams. “Depending on which road you take, you can publish for less than $1000.”
Self-publishing has been around for decades but has become easier and more popular. Many writers have the dream to get their work published but dread the process of going through traditional publishing. Since it has become harder for a writer who doesn’t already have a following to get a publishing contract, self-publishing is the best “Do it Yourself” project they can take on.