Smith Publicity Explains Some Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing

The publishing industry has seen many changes in the past ten years. Self-publishing or independent publishing– and variations including hybrid and cooperative publishing – have surged in popularity, with of thousands of new titles released each year. 
Traditional publishers continue to struggle with outdated business models, advances paid to authors have decreased, and book promotion support from many publishers has been significantly reduced. An even bigger change is the blending of traditional with self-publishing. One example is Simon & Schuster’s Archway Publishing Division. These arrangements are essentially ways for traditional publishers to monetize rejected manuscripts. 

Not all that long ago, predicting that major, traditional publishers would embrace self-publishing would have been considered absurd – an “absolutely never going to happen” scenario.

No longer is there a stigma that all self-published books are low class and inferior. It’s about content and quality now, not how a book was published. A self-published book can benefit just as much from book promotion as a traditionally published book.

So what are the pros and cons of self-publishing as compared to traditional publishing? Here are a few from Smith Publicity to consider.

Some positive aspects of self-publishing:

• Timing – Often, a self-published book can be printed and available for purchase online within months, sometimes weeks
• Cost – You can have a professionally printed and designed book for as little as $1000 in some cases
• Ease of publishing — An independent publisher, if an author wants them to, can generally handle everything, from securing an ISBN to layout, printing, etc.
• Control — The book you self-publish will be exactly what you want; no changes made by editors or cover designs forced upon you
• Rights — The majority of self-publishers allow you to retain all rights to your book
• Quality – If you do it right, a self-published book can be indistinguishable from a traditionally published book in terms of cover design, layout and overall appearance 

Some potential negative elements of self-publishing:

• Distribution: It can be very difficult for a self-published book to get shelf space in book stores
• Quality: If you put too much trust is some self-publishers and allow them to handle cover design, back cover copy, etc., you may end up with an unprofessional looking book.
• Cost — As mentioned above, getting your book published and printed can be very inexpensive.

However, some self-publishers are very aggressive at upselling additional services. Many authors sign on for services such as book marketing and book promotion that can cost over $10,000, and these services are sometimes fulfilled by unqualified book publicists.