I self-published my first book, a collection of poetry called Dear Life, a few years ago. I learned a few things from that experience, including challenges. So, what are the pros and cons of publishing this way? Or should you go to a publishing house?
The biggest challenge when you self publishes is that you need to edit and do all the little details all by yourself unless you hire an editor – and a lot of people can’t afford that. Most people get overwhelmed with the amount of work that goes above and beyond the actual writing of the book. Thankfully nowadays you have tools like Grammarly, which makes your job a little bit easier.
Self-publishing with Amazon is at least not the same as doing it alone, but you have to follow their 80-page rule book and they take a percentage of your earnings.
So that’s where traditional publishing houses have an edge because they give you an editor who can provide you with feedback. They also give you a cover designer and do all your marketing for you as well as dealing with copyright issues. However, it’s tough to get past the gatekeepers, the literary agents, so self-publishing is faster. Self-publishing with Amazon is at least not the same as doing it alone, but you have to follow their 80-page rule book, and they take a percentage of your earnings.
On the con side, some publishers might attempt to censor your vision, so you have to be careful who you work with if that’s important to you. You also lose a measure of control because they make the marketing decisions. They also get a part of the profits.
What you choose depends on your specific situation. Namely your budget, the time you have to dedicate to this writing project, and your ability to commit to it. You also need to know your process – some people will do better with a team behind them while others might find that they write better by themselves because they have more freedom.