Hi everyone! Welcome to another episode where I answer Google questions related to writing. I hope you find it helpful, insightful, or entertaining! Today’s Google question post is about self-publishing. I will answer these questions to the best of my ability. Here we go!
Is self-publishing worth it? I think most indie authors would say yes to this. Personally, I think it’s worth it. The financial gain hasn’t been large. I’ve slowly made back the money I’ve put into self-publishing, so it’s not a big enough income to live on, but for me it’s more than just the money. I enjoy having my writing out there for people to read – and some people have enjoyed my books quite a bit. Knowing that I have a small fan base makes it all worth it in the end. Self-publishing can be a really enjoyable experience if you like the process and love your work.
Is self-publishing online a form of disintermediation? I had to look up what this word means! Disintermediation is the process of cutting out one or more middlemen from a transaction, supply chain, or decision-making process. So yes, it looks like self-publishing is actually disintermediation since you’re releasing your book without the need for a publisher.
Is self-publishing a good idea? I think it is. 🙂 To answer this question for someone else, I’d need to know what their personal and creative goals are. If you’re in it for the fame and money, self-publishing may not be for you. Some people do make a lot of money through self-publishing, but it’s not very common. If you want someone to take care of the publishing process, market your book, and distribute it, self-publishing may not be for you, either. If you love the idea of having creative freedom, being your own boss, and releasing your own books into the world for the pure enjoyment of it, self-publishing is likely good for you. There are definitely strategies you can use to build your audience and market your books even as a self-published author. There’s always a chance for success, but if you’re looking to make a lot of money at the beginning, traditional publishing may be the better route for you. I’d also like to note that self-publishing won’t hurt your chances of being represented later on, so it’s never a bad idea if you want to give it a try.
Is self-publishing better? It really depends on your outlook and what your goals are as a writer. I don’t think traditional vs. self-publishing needs to mean one is better than the other. There are pros and cons to both no matter how you cut it. Self-publishing would be better for you if you prefer to have final say over how your book is published, if you enjoy the process of publishing, if you have a solid plan on how you’re going to market and distribute your books, if you write for the pure enjoyment of it (marketing plan or not), and you prefer not to deal with agents and publishers. I’m happy with my choice to self-publish.
Is self-publishing school legit? I admit that I’ve never heard of this company before, but apparently there’s an online Self-Publishing School that claims to help people write, publish, and market their books. Um, so, okay, I don’t know enough about this company to comment accurately or fairly, but I did a little search for reviews and they were either really good or really bad. It gives the feel of a vanity publisher. I mean, if you have the money to spend on something like that, maybe it would be worthwhile to get you motivated. I’d personally never bother with that kind of service, though. You can get similar information from bloggers and authors who have already gone through the publishing process. You don’t need to spend $5000+ to self-publish your book. The most I’ve ever spent was around $1500 and that’s on the high end for me. Publishing on Amazon is free – just an FYI. Do your research before spending money on a “publishing company”. In reality, a legit publisher probably won’t ask you to pay anything – they would be paying you.
Is self-publishing profitable? It certainly can be. The sky is the limit. You could make much more than you ever would at a publishing house *or* you could make $3/year. It really depends on how well you promote your book, build your audience, create an eye catching cover, etc. Sometimes it does take a little bit of being in the “right place at the right time” situation. Some self-published books have become famous (i.e. 50 Shades of Grey) and the author is now rich. Most indie authors, though, make more of a modest income. It can be considered supplementary income for some or pocket change for others. I honestly see self-publishing as a long term thing that you build on. I’ve been at it for around 10 years and the sales do come eventually, but I’m at no point where it would be considered a supplementary income yet. I believe it could be profitable one day.
Is self-publishing on Amazon worth it? I think it is. If a few people read your book, enjoyed it, and reviewed it, I think it’s all worth the effort. For me, the fact that people enjoy my writing means more than making a living off it. You can always make more money elsewhere, but having created something that other people enjoy is special.
Is self-publishing expensive? It can be. Some people spend money on a very good editor, book cover designer, book formatter, etc. and it could easily go up to $5,000. With that being said, some people self-publish completely free. They self-edit, design their own covers, and learn how to format properly. I do a mix of both. I’ll usually invest in a book cover designer and often will spend money on an affordable editor (You can search for editors within your budget). It’s really up to you how much you spend. I’d also like to say that my more popular books weren’t professionally edited, so spending money on the best known editors doesn’t mean you’re going to have a best selling book.
Is self-publishing on Amazon free? Yes, it is. Unless you spend money on their editing/book cover services. You don’t need to, but they’re there. Self-publishing can be completely free if you want it to be (It’s better to have the skills to design your own book cover/format your own work).
Thank you so much for reading! 🙂