Do You Wait to Secure a Publisher or Self-Publish Your Book?



So, you’ve written your first book! Congratulations! You have had your work professionally edited and proofread, and you have a solid marketing plan to promote it over the next year. Do you wait for a publisher or self-publish your book? 

There are many reasons why some authors don’t wait to find publishers and turn to self-publishing. Hundreds (if not more) of self-publishing platforms and companies are available via the Internet. Some offer excellent services, and others do not. First, talking to other self-published authors about their experiences and who they would recommend based on your budget is wise.

Next, it would be beneficial to know the publishing trends for 2024, self-published books, and authors’ sales statistics as of last year. Here are some excellent articles to catch you up to speed:

The Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2024

Publishing Trends 2024: Insight and Advice

Self-Published Books & Authors Sales Statistics [2023]

As a part-time book reviewer, I have read and reviewed many self-published authors’ books, and some incredible talent out there deserves more widespread recognition. However, it’s a shame that finding an agent and a publisher is such difficult work and that rejections are so plentiful—when all you want to do is write and be read. 

How does self-publishing let authors bypass traditional publishing filters?



Self-publishing allows authors to bypass traditional publishing filters in several ways:

Autonomy: In traditional publishing, authors must go through literary agents and publishers, who may have specific criteria and preferences. Self-publishing allows authors to retain complete control over their work. They can choose when to publish, how to market their book and make decisions about cover design, formatting, and pricing without external interference.

Accessibility: Traditional publishing can be highly competitive, and publishers reject many manuscripts. Self-publishing platforms, such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), IngramSparks, Smashwords, or others, provide a direct route for authors to publish their work without gatekeepers needing approval. Increased accessibility allows a broader range of voices to be heard.

Speed: Traditional publishing often involves a lengthy process of querying agents, waiting for responses, and undergoing revisions before the book reaches the market. Self-publishing enables authors to bring their work to readers quickly. They can set their own timelines and release dates, responding rapidly to market demands.

Diverse Content: Traditional publishers may have specific genre preferences or target markets. Self-publishing allows authors to explore niche genres, experimental writing styles, or unique subject matter that might not fit within traditional publishing moulds. This diversity can create a broader range of voices and perspectives in the literary world.

Financial Control: Traditional publishing involves complex royalty structures, and authors often receive a smaller percentage of the book’s earnings. Self-published authors retain more control over their financial earnings. They can set their own pricing and receive a higher rate of sales revenue.

While self-publishing offers these advantages, it’s important to note that traditional publishing still provides benefits such as editorial support, marketing resources, and broader distribution channels. Self-published authors often need to take on these responsibilities themselves or hire professionals for editing, cover design, and marketing to ensure their work reaches its potential audience. Additionally, the credibility associated with traditional publishing can still influence some readers and literary circles.

So, do you wait for a publisher or self-publish your book? There is much to consider when deciding whether to attempt to have your book published by a reputable publishing house or self-publish. Talk to fellow authors about who they used to self-publish and what their experiences were. Inform yourself about the publishing trends for 2024. Consider how self-publishing lets authors bypass the traditional publishing filters. 

Finally, know that self-publishing means you must have a sound marketing plan to promote your book consistently for a year. Simply uploading your book to Amazon KDP and posting about it a few times on social media isn’t going to sell many copies. Talk to a professional who knows about book marketing, get their help with a plan, and be prepared to work hard. If you want to know who to talk to, I can recommend a couple of pros.

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