The Indie Author Struggle: Cons and Pros to Self-Publishing
I think it's time I write about a topic that may be a little more relevant to writing community than short stories of my unknown characters (I won't stop doing that, though. I love my short stories. Deal with it.) Hopefully, this blog will reach the outside world and can help you if you are endlessly debating what to do.
So, here we go: 3 Cons and 3 Pros to Self Publishing.
I'll start with the bad stuff first. Let's get all that negativity out of the way.
3 Struggles of Self-Publishing
1. People Don't Take You Seriously
This is a big problem for me. There have been many times that I have reached out to people for advice and they go, "Oh, anyone can self-publish so why are you so special?" or "I don't associate with non traditional publishers." (Yes, they're that snobby.) I know that we self-published authors all have been through this and it's problematic, hence why it is the first one on the list.
2. Money and Energy Are Used Like Water
What the rude people from the first point don't understand is how much money and energy are spent on these books. I put my whole heart, soul, and bank account into my work. We have to pay for editors, graphic designers, website hosts, and (of course) the books if we sell them ourselves. It also takes a lot of time and effort to keep up content, make sure your programs are running right, etc.
3. You Feel Alone
For me, this is the hardest part. I'm my own marketer, designer, formatter, sales person, and boss. Not only is it exhausting, but I feel like I have no one to turn to sometimes. It's also hard if you don't have many network connections and people to turn to for advice. You have to do a lot of research on your own, trying to figure out what's best. You'll make mistakes, have trial and error, and hope for the best in the end.
There are many other difficulties with self-publishing. BUT I am not going to scare you with the other minor, painful details. Even though these three points look bad, but don't be discouraged yet. Here is what I find amazing about self-publishing.
3 Benefits of Self-Publishing
1. You Be You
This. Is. Awesome. I've heard so many horror stories about how traditional publishers have changed important details in books, flip things around, and basically do all these crazy things (that do not improve the book) without your consent. When you self-publish, you can work at your own pace, write your own content, and put yourself into your writings. There's no agenda, no stress about writing what society wants. You write what you want. For me, I love this. My writings have important, moral messages that may be "controversial" in today's crazy world. With self-publishing, I don't have to worry about people taking my Faith away. I can share it freely.
2. The Price is Right!
You set your own price and decide how much your book is worth. If you just want people to read it and have it be free, then let it be free! If you think you can sell it at a higher price, go for it! No constrictions. No one telling you no. You also get royalty payments at least once a month, rather than twice a year. The royalty rates for self-published books are also significantly better than traditional.
3. ULTIMATE POWER!
Yes, this is true. You have ultimate control of your book. There are no publishers to say "No, this character can't be this" or "they have to say that". Like said in the first benefit, you can be you but that also means you can control everything. You decide what marketing outlets you want to hit and how you want to be seen to your audience. You have the final say in what your cover is going to look like. You have the final say when and where the book is released. With self-publishing, you don't have to wait over a year for a book to just be printed. You have the power to do it when you want it, where you want it, and how you want it.
So, there you have it. These are only six little things about self-publishing that I think everyone should know. Frankly, I could go on rants about its pros and cons but "ain't nobody got time for that".
I hope this post helped! If you have any questions, please let me know. If you have any topics you'd like me to touch on, drop 'em in the comments or shoot me a message!
Also, check out my website (www.sara-francis.com) and my writings to learn more about me!