A question every author will probably ask themselves one day is Why self-publish? Today, Stacy-Deanne, author of romantic suspense, contemporary romance, thrillers and women’s fiction, answers this question for you. Note that although self-publishing is only one kind of indie publishing, in this article the term ‘indie’ refers to self-publishing.
Thanks Stacy. I think you put it really well.
Why self-publish? As someone who was once published by a (at the time) Big Six Publisher in the US, spent years in trade and have been indie since 2015, I don’t think trade pubs have any advantages these days unless you write stuff that only works for trade. If you write things that can sell well being indie, I suggest you do it. Trade publishing’s disadvantages FAR outweigh any advantages.
The problem with taking the mainstream publishing route.
1) You’ll need an agent if you want a big publisher and it can take years to find one IF you are lucky enough to do so.
2) If you are lucky to get an agent, it usually takes YEARS to get a publisher IF you get one.
3) If you do get a publisher, your book most likely won’t be published within 3 years. That’s how mind-boggling slow trade publishing is. So depending on what you wrote, by the time the book comes out the content might not even be relevant anymore.
4) With trade, every single thing is slow. You will be waiting months on every part of the process.
5) Most if not all of the promotion will fall on you. A big pub might do the stuff where they promote behind the scenes to stores, etc. But they don’t promote you anywhere else unless you are a big author or they gave you a big advance in hopes you make it big. So just like an indie, you will have to promote yourself.
6) Books are grossly overpriced with trade. Most readers will not spend $10 and up on one ebook. So you will lose a lot of sales if you can’t compete with indie prices.
7) The money is HORRIBLE. You’ll only get paid by the quarter, not monthly. This means it’ll be months before you see a royalty and most likely the royalty won’t even be enough for a cup of coffee. So again, SLOW. And if you got an advance, you don’t make anything outside of that until your book earns out the advance.
8. If your book doesn’t sell, they drop you. You have about 3 months (at least you used to) to sell to expectations. If you don’t, most likely you will be dropped and when you are dropped from a pub, it hurts your reputation with other publishers because no one wants an author with bad sales.
9) Lack of control- Most big publishers DO NOT give you much control over cover art, editing, etc. Oh, they’ll “ask” your opinion to make it seem like they are including you, but they will override any decision you make if they don’t agree with it. Your book could look completely different from the time you submitted it to when it’s published. Depending on the publisher (some are more heavy-handed than others) your title might change, the premise altered, they might want you to include new characters or cut out characters, might pick an ugly cover and you have no say.
As you can see I could write a book on the disadvantages. Maybe 20 years ago there were more advantages but again, unless you write something that only sells well in trade, I’d go indie.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is an award-winning author of romantic suspense, contemporary romance, thrillers and women’s fiction books featuring BWWM (black women and white men) pairings. Her books have been bestsellers in stores worldwide including Amazon, Apple, and Barnes and Noble. Her work has been praised and reviewed in USA Today numerously. She has a Bachelor’s of Art degree and is a 2011 and 2012 African-American Literary Award Nominee. She also is a winner of the Swirl Award (an award dedicated to authors of multicultural/interracial works).
Stacy is known for bringing versatile stories to her readers. With her, you never know what you’re gonna get, which separates Stacy’s work from the pack.
Stacy’s books are full of passion, thrills, intriguing characters and so much emotion you can’t get enough! If you want something different and unpredictable then definitely check out her work.
Now you know why many authors self-publish
For more about publishing options, watch this video.
Have you written a book and are thinking of publishing? If so, see what AIA Publishing has to offer. It’s a hybrid publisher, and I’m the managing editor there. We’re always looking for good books to publish. We also have an assisted self-publishing service for those who want to self-publish but want someone else to do it for them.
But before submitting your book anywhere, it’s a good idea to have a manuscript appraisal. Contact me now so I can help you make your book the best it can be. After all, you want the publisher to sit up and take notice, yes?