Over the last few weeks this question has been dangling over me like a carrot. Self-publishing seems to promise me, readers and full ownership of my book but is it really too good to be true?
This form of publishing is one of the routes I’ve been itching to try all along but often felt like it had a negative stigma attached to it.
I’m currently in between querying my first YA novel and whilst I’ve been spending time writing another book, I’ve noticed a few things about my writing style.
I prefer writing for adults.
I prefer the freedom I have with my audience but it’s made me question what to do with my YA book. I know I would’ve loved reading something like this when I was growing up and if it were successful, I already have a series in mind for it. So, I still want to try and publish my book, but which route is best for it?
Free Reign of Your Book
When I say free reign, I mean it.
Self-publishing allows you to literally do what you want with your book. From editing, to production, to marketing. It’s all yours to play around with. For me the concept of making my book look exactly how I want it to and marketing it in a way I think will work best, is like music to my ears. The more involved I am in my book, the better.
However I know not everyone will see it in this way. It can look daunting to someone who’s never tried to create book covers or market their work before, yet alone if your IT skills aren’t the best. It’s also worth considering the time it would take to get all of this up and running in comparison to getting published the traditional route. It could mean more work on production and marketing your book than writing it.
Publishing Houses v Self-Publishing
Doing all of the work means you’re going to need your novel to stand out from the crowd. This will be full of not only other self published authors but indie presses and publishing houses. Although publishing houses may validate the quality of your writing for some people, that doesn’t mean that everyone will view your writing in this way.
Yes you will instantly have a platform if you’re traditionally published to some extent. However, if you self-publish you can still have a platform. In fact, because it’s your book, you’ll probably spend more time promoting it than a publishing house would, meaning a larger audience overall with possibly more engagement.
The Profits of Publishing.
For some it might come down to the price of publishing. In traditional publishing, the average royalties for a new author can range from 7.5% – 12% depending on experience and genre. In self-publishing however, royalties can range from 35% – 70% according to KDP.
A big difference right?
Before you think it’s a no brainier, don’t forget to look at further details. Each book will have its own amount of VAT and tax and may also incur postage costs too. Not only this but once you’re at the end of the tax year, you’ll have to sort your own finances to ensure you’re not doing tax invasion.
Sound like a faff? Stick with traditional publishing. Not fazed? Then look further into self-publishing.
If these points haven’t fazed you or have even excited you about self-publishing, then I’d recommend taking a closer look into the industry. Hopefully I’ve opened your eyes to some of the nitty-gritty parts of self-publishing that you might not have considered before. Only you know whether it’s worth persevering for.
For me personally? I know my audience engagement would be better online and may attract more YA readers. So for me, I’ll take a closer look into self-publishing and if I gain more readers by self-publishing then so be it. For me, it’s all about the readers when it comes to my writing.