We are regularly contacted by people who’ve finished their book and want to get it published but find the process of approaching an agent or entering a book competition too daunting. Others have tried that route and found it too frustrating, as it does take a good amount of perseverance.
The self-publishing route is more accessible than ever, and more widely accepted than ever as a means to get your work out there. There are more and more writers who are finding success and even fame by putting out their own books. There are many comprehensive articles online about self-publishing, so this is a highlight review of the main points and sources of information.
- Writers’ & Artists’ publishes a comprehensive how-to guide
- There are many great resources on the Alliance of Independent Authors and Self Publishing School
- The Society of Authors has a range of excellent video resources:
The main pros and cons of self-publishing are:
- Retain full rights to your work and complete creative control
- Earn higher royalty rates
- Shorter publishing time from page to publication
- Make a name for yourself and build your own base of readers
- Lower visibility—there are many, many other self-published books alongside traditional books, and you won’t have the help of a publisher to get your work promoted.
- Upfront costs and support of design, editing, proofreading and promotion you’d get from a traditional publisher
- Very few bookstores carry self-published books
If you decide to self-publish, here are the key things you’ll need:
- Choose a platform—the most popular is Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing
- A professional proofreader and preferably an editor. We can’t recommend one for you but you can try the Chartered Institure of Editing and Proofreading
- A book designer and cover designer, to create the book professionally and up to the specifications on Kindle Direct Publishing or other service. (Again, we’re not unfortunately able to recommend one for you, but have a look at the list on the Alliance of Independent Authors)
- You’ll need to be ready and willing to put the time and energy in to promote your book. Our Social Media Toolkit can offer some starting tips
One very important note: there are many, many ‘publishing companies’ that claim they will publish your book for very high fees. Many of them—for example Austin Macauley—appear at the top of your Google searches. Before committing your book and your money, please be sure to check the Alliance of Independent Author’s ratings guide or the Self Publishing School’s companies to avoid.