5 Reasons You Should Not Self-Publish Your Book

By on December 6, 2017
5 Reasons You Should Not Self-Publish Your Book

In the last few years self-publishing has become the preferred route of many authors. However, it is important to examine what the benefits of self-publishing your book are to truly understand whether or not it is the right route for you and your book.

Self-publishing might seem like the easy option - you don’t have to wait around in the desperate and unlikely hope that you’ll be accepted by an agent or publisher, you have complete control over your book sales, and you can do it pretty much instantly.

However many authors rush full pelt into self-publishing their work full of giddy hopes and expectations only to find that it's not what they hoped it would be and subsequently regret not exploring other options.

Here are five reasons why you should not self-publish your book

Your reputation. We must face facts; there is still an attitude that being the author of a self-publishing book is not nearly as good an achievement as being an author of a book that has been published by a publishing house. Whether that attitude is right or wrong - well the jury’s out, but while anyone can self-publish a novel, getting picked up by a publisher is far rarer, and therefore more valued and trusted. The fact is that the majority of authors would beam with pride had their novel been published via the traditional route, where many feel embarrassed to say they actually self-published their novel shows that there really is a difference.

2. The quality. A publisher who decides to take on your novel is likely to have a team of experienced professionals who they’ll use to make your book the very best it can be. Even if you use a professional editor and get a book cover designed especially for you, the quality just won’t be the same.

3. The competition. Most self-published books are lost, drowning amongst the sea of others never to be seen again. Even if your book is really good, the competition is so fierce that getting anyone to actually read it is a pretty tough task.

4. The expense. You don’t have to pay anything upfront if your book gets picked up by a publisher. They’ll simply take a cut of what you sell (and you’ll be far more likely to sell). If you want to go down the self-publishing route and do it properly, you’ll need a spare few thousand if you want to give your book any chance of doing well.

5. The ability to market your book. If you self-publish your book, the responsibility falls on you to market and promote it, to reach out to readers and sell it. Most authors aren’t marketing professionals, and unless you are willing to put some serious time and effort into marketing your book, you'll find this time consuming, daunting task quickly becomes a source of frustration, guilt and annoyance pretty quickly!

At the end of the day, we’ve got to acknowledge that going down the traditional publishing route means you may never see your book in print. But wouldn’t you rather spend your time, energy and money trying to actually win the jackpot rather than selling yourself short?

We must admit that self-publishing simply suits some authors, and indeed there have been cases where previously unheard of authors have risen to fame and fortune through the self-publishing route. However, these are few and far between.

At the very least authors should initially try to get a publishing deal or to find themselves an agent. Self-publishing will always be there as an option at the end of the day so why not believe in yourself and shoot for the stars before you settle for something that might feel just as disappointing and unsatisfying as never seeing your work in print in the first place? At least this way you can know you did everything you could to make your book a the best success possible.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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