Why did I self-publish my book? I get asked this a lot and it’s a good question. Here are some of the reasons:
- Working with a traditional publisher would have taken a lot longer to get my book into print. I thought about going this route last year, but I knew that to get my book accepted I would have to first write an engaging book proposal, then send over a draft of writing, sample chapters, a table of contents, etc… If I worked with an agent that might have improved my chances, but then I would have needed to find the right agent. And an agent would have to accept me, too. Even if I got accepted by a publisher (and I was expecting lots of rejections; trust me, I used to be a publisher) I knew that it might take months to get to work with a good editor (which was what I wanted most.) All this would take time and I would be at the mercy of the publisher’s schedule. I finished my book at the end of July and it probably would have been slotted into a 2020 or 2021 release date. I wanted something out in late 2019.
- I wanted to see how much I could earn via the self-publishing route. A traditional publisher take on a lot of risk–they incur cost of editorial, design and marketing, though I would be expected to do my own promotion as well. If the publisher and I market and promote well, the book would have a chance of decent sales, but no telling how much they might be. One thousand copies? Two thousand? I doubt I would see any significant revenue from the sales. (Again, trust me, I used to be a publisher. Most books don’t break even.) Self-publish means that I take on the risk and cost, but also get all of the profits. My goal is to sell 1,000 copies in the first 12 months and I think I will break even at sales of between 400 and 500.
- The main reason by far is that I am starting a self-publishing service, called The Walker Press and I thought that the best way to start this venture was to write and self-publish my own book. All the cost and risk are on me and so are the headaches, but I have enjoyed every step of this creative process. To make a better product, I have worked with some professional editors and designers. That has increased the cost, but improved the quality. And I’m learning as I go! I also got to do my own interior design and layout, something I’ve always wanted to do and which I found fun. My book is currently available in both print and eBook formats on Amazon, Ingram Spark and Barnes and Noble.
- I have absolutely nothing against traditional trade book publishers; I used to be one and I loved my job! However, I am hoping to discover a cost-effective niche for people who want to publish a book, but have been either turned down by a traditional publisher or who have a smaller target audience. If you are interested in learning more about what I do, get in touch with me.
I will share about my experiences and what I’m learning, as I go. Next weekI will write more about the options for self-publishing that are out there.