Why You Should Avoid Self-publishing

stressed out writerAs an author, once you are ready to see your manuscript developed in book form, you will face a dilemma. Should you seek the help of a publishing house or take the self-publishing route? The latter means handling the printing, editing, proofreading, formatting, book cover design, ebook conversion, filing copyrights, distribution, and marketing by yourself. 

While there are the occasional “success stories” of a self-published author hitting the big time, the fact is, the vast majority of self-published books simply don’t sell all that well.  The quality just isn’t there.  While technology has made self-publishing popular, most who have done it would agree that self-publishing is not for the faint-hearted and only a small minority of indie authors attain their initial book sales targets. Here are 4 reasons why you should reconsider self-publishing.

The Stigma About Quality

Your work could be great, but it’s likely to suffer the stigma associated with being self-published. Perhaps you submitted your manuscript or book proposal to multiple publishers and were turned down – or ignored.  Is your work not good enough to be published? That might be the logical assumption, but it doesn’t have to be the case.  There are many manuscripts truly worthy to be published but because the author is not that well known, or the author does not have a sizable “platform” or following, traditional publishers will tend to avoid taking the risk of working with an unknown or unproven author.

One option you might consider is a “Hybrid” publishing option that HIgherLife offers.

Handling Quality Control

Publishing houses are thorough about the book editing and proofreading process. They’ll give an objective view of your work. By the time a book is published, it’s been reviewed thoroughly and multiple times. As an independent author, you’ll have to take up this role yourself. This begins with deciding how long the book should be to the book-cover design that will best help sell the book. Handling the entire process alone bears the risk of being too self-indulgent. It might be better to have an objective party give an opinion from an external vantage point.

Your gifting is as a writer and author – not a publisher.  So don’t try to take on the roles that a publisher should play in taking your message from concept to published book.  If you’ve found yourself turned down by traditional publishers, before you resort to self-publishing, consider the hybrid publishing option that HigherLife can offer.

The Cost

Self-publishing is expensive. We see far too many authors who paid more than they should have for work that was ultimately inferior. Another cost is the lost opportunity of skipping a needed step in the process to save a buck. For example, you get a “friend” to design your cover or edit your book. Maybe that saved you a lot of money – but if the book doesn’t sell because it was not well packaged or edited, you wind up losing far more in lost opportunity and sales than what you saved in the development process.

With self-publishing, knowing where it’s important to spend money and where to save all falls on you. You must decide how much to set aside for editing and proofreading, designing, printing, marketing tours, website building, social media management, and other things. Chances are that you might overlook or underestimate certain costs due to inexperience. This might curtail the success of your efforts.

Getting Marketing and Distribution Right

There is an advantage in working with an experienced publishing house when it comes to marketing and distribution. They will help get the metadata on your book right. This will help people find your work easily on search engines and databases of booksellers.

Many independent authors make the mistake of only listing their book with a single distribution platform. Often it is Amazon. However, publishers have the data on the sales on different platforms. They know where readers buy books in your genre shop. The publisher, therefore, knows which platforms to focus marketing efforts on. This minimizes the risk associated with a big marketing budget. However, when doing these things independently, it might end up feeling like groping in the dark hoping to catch something before the money runs out.

If this article makes you want to consider working with a publisher instead of self-publishing, you’re welcome. Check out HigherLife Publishing & Marketing. We are full-service publishing and marketing company that offers a unique “hybrid” publishing model that may be just right for you. 

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