By AC de Fombelle
The years when self-publishing was synonymous with ‘arrogant vanity publishing’ are (almost) behind us.
Self-publishing, or independent publishing, is now often seen for what it is: an author deciding to take the reins and use the resources and tools available to publish their own book.
Technology and the evolution of publishing have made it possible for anyone to get their book out there for people to purchase and read. Yet, hasn’t something been lost in the process?
Where did the work of the publisher go? The editing, the formatting, the marketing…
While many authors do realize the importance of such elements in their book going to market, they often believe they should or are obliged to do it all themselves since they took the decision to self-publish.
This can be a daunting perspective, and so it should be! You can’t just make yourself a professional publisher overnight. It takes skills, expertise and talent.
Self-publishing requires a lot of learning, and authors need to know which solutions exist and the right way to go about it all.
Fortunately, there is lots of really useful advice online, in the form of videos, forums, communities and podcasts.
Experienced self-publishers spend a lot of time clearing the path and leading the way for newbies. Use it to your advantage!
While much can be learned, much can also be outsourced.
There are many professional designers, editors and translators waiting to discover your work and become a partner in your self-publishing adventure!
“Self Publishing is about taking all the decisions, not doing it all by yourself”
Yes, you would also receive this kind of professional help were you to hand over your books to a publishing house. However, the difference is that with traditional publishing, you relinquish control.
In self-publishing, the decisions are yours, the control is yours. Investing in professional help, for the skills you can’t just learn on the fly, will help your book dream become a publishing reality.
And, even better, it will ensure your work doesn’t look amateurish.
Being in control also means having the final say and ironing out all the details.
You’ll enjoy having the chance to delegate some of the work and being able to focus on the organization, making sure every nook and cranny has been explored and considered.
This is what self-publishing is all about. Don’t exhaust yourself by trying to do everything, but keep in mind you’re the one in charge. It’s your book project, your own publishing venture.
And, believe me, after experiencing this kind of independence with your book, you’ll have a hard time going back to a more traditional setting.
“Having self-published exclusively for the last couple of years, it’s hard for me to imagine going back to traditional publishing (and I have had offers).
I feel as though Penguin Random House didn’t do enough to make the material I wrote work harder.
It could have sold overseas (as it does now), it could have branched into audio, etc.
And, having gotten used to playing a part in the cover design and every other bit of production, it’s tough to think about handing over my manuscript and not even having control over the release date.”
“Elizabeth Spann Craig, 5 things about being a writer“
AC de Fombelle is StreetLib’s Chief Globalization Officer and communication manager. She works to guide publishers and authors around the globe to get their books out there the best way possible.