I received the following email last week from an author named Donald:
What are the benefits for self-publishing your novel?
The top seven benefits of self-publishing are:
1. Self-publishing is MUCH faster than going the traditional route. At BookLocker.com, we usually get a book to market within a month while traditional publishers can take several months…and even a year or more to get a book to market. The traditional publishing industry still uses some pretty archaic practices, which impede their business processes.
2. No need for a literary agent. Many traditional publishers require authors to first obtain a literary agent, or will only look at manuscripts submitted by literary agents. This adds significant additional effort and time on behalf of the author because it’s often just as difficult to land a reputable agent as it is to land a large publishing contract. Trying to land a literary agent can also result in significant delays in getting the book published – sometimes years! When self-publishing, you don’t need to spend months or years looking for a literary agent or traditional publisher – months or years that you could have spent SELLING your books instead!
3. YOU’RE in Control. Traditional publishers can make you change your book in ways you may not want to. In addition, they can make edits, additions, and deletions that you don’t agree with. When one of my books was self-published by a traditional publisher (one of the “Big Five”), their editor inserted so many mistakes in my book that she lost her job. Of course, her screw-ups required weeks of going back and forth with me, while I, personally, listed all of her repeated (and continuing!) errors. This delayed the book even further. Each time I fixed one of her errors, it seemed she’d insert a dozen more. It was downright INFURIATING! Any errors inserted by your publisher’s employees can, of course, harm YOUR reputation as an author.
4. Significantly higher royalty rates. When self-publishing, your royalty rate is usually significantly higher so you can sell fewer books, but still earn more money.
5. Rights. When self-publishing (provided you do it through a reputable company like BookLocker.com), you retain all rights to your book, and can terminate at any time. BookLocker.com also gives rights to the production files to each author in case they may want to have the book printed elsewhere in the future. Very few POD publishers do that and I’m not aware of any traditional publisher that follows that practice. Traditional publishers can lock up your rights for years, forcing you to stay with them even if they’re doing nothing at all to promote your book.
6. More frequent royalty payments. Most traditional publishers pay royalties quarterly, or even annually. BookLocker.com pays royalties to authors monthly, provided their unpaid royalties are $40 or more. Many POD publishers pay quarterly. Many traditional publishers, and even literary agents (including the one that helped me land my traditional contract years ago), only provide annual sales reports to their authors while POD publishers provide quarterly or monthly reports, or, like BookLocker, allow their authors to login to see their sales online. Of course, there are always reporting delays with regards to distributors and some large retailers regardless which publishing method is used.
7. Self publishing can actually INCREASE your chances of landing a traditional contract! If you’re a new, unknown author with no previous books (or no previous successful books) under your belt, and/or with few to no book sales, it can be almost impossible to land a traditional publishing contract. However, if you self-publish first, are a savvy marketer, and can prove impressive sales of your book, your chances of landing a traditional contract are MUCH better! So, if you are truly intent on landing a traditional contract, but aren’t having any luck, you might want to try self-publishing first as a catalyst into the traditional publishing arena. If you do, you’ll be in good company. The following authors self-published before landing traditional contracts:
Irma Rombauer (The Joy of Cooking)
E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey)
James Joyce (Ulysses)
Beatrix Potter (The Adventures of Peter Rabbit)
James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy)
Mark Twin (Huckleberry Finn)
There are many others as well!
Next week, we’ll discuss the (incorrect) assumptions that many authors have about “the holy grails of traditional publishing” – the incorrect belief that “all” traditional publishers pay awesome advances, get all their books stocked in all the bookstores, and that they spend significant money or time promoting their new authors’ books. You won’t want to miss next week’s controversial article!
Also, please see:
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela lives on a 52' Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch (sailboat) with her family and pets. Keep up with her family's adventurous liveaboard lifestyle at GotNoTanLines.com
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE