Four Reasons to Self-Publish

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Today, I’m going to give you four reasons why you should self-publish.

First, I’ll start off by saying I’m really surprised at how many people are still in the dark about self-publishing. I see a lot of stuff about this on various lists I’m on. How do I go about finding a good self-publishing platform and so on and so forth. So I hope this will answer some questions.

But let me at least start out by giving you four reasons why you should do it.

First, you have complete control over your work if you’re self-published. Obviously. You have control of your rights. You can do anything you want with them. They’re your rights. You haven’t licensed them out to anyone else.

Secondly, it is much easier than you might imagine to do this. I can do it and I’m not a technical genius. I did this years ago. I did this back in 2009 before I became anywhere near as savvy about technology as I am now. And I’m not even that savvy. I am just an ordinary person with ordinary skills. I mean, I’m a writer, which I think of as a skilled profession. But you don’t have to be a technical genius. And you can publish at your own pace.

That’s reason number three. You don’t have somebody breathing down your neck about a deadline.

However, you do have to self-impose your own deadlines. You have to be disciplined. You can choose your own genre and subject to write about. You can write fiction. You can write non-fiction. The key is to come up with content that people want and that you feel passionate enough to write about.

Fourth, you don’t have to do everything yourself. I see so much DIY information out there about how to do this, how to create fonts, how to do that. You don’t have to do all those things. You can focus on the skill sets that are yours, narrowly focus on your own skill sets and outsource the rest to other people. You also have the choice of bettering your DIY skills in different ways. Some of us like to handle our own formatting and cover design. But not everyone feels up to doing it. Personally, I rarely create my own covers and, when I do, it’s pretty obvious I’m not a professional graphic artist. They’re not terrible covers, but they’re not the top-quality kind I want for the work that’s defined my career to-date: my novels.

For instance, at one time, I did not do my own formatting. I let others people handle the print and ebook formatting, and what I’m going to do is give you a cheat sheet (just click the link–it’s free) that you can use that will just tell you a little bit about the platforms that I publish on and the types of files each one accepts. And it’s really quite simple. Nobody is born knowing how to do this stuff. I have had to learn it on the fly.

But all of this can be learned. It’s a matter of judging your strengths and weighing the costs of payment in dollars versus time spent learning something new.

So, ask yourself before you take the path to self-publishing your work:

• What steps do I need to take to bring my story out in the form of a book?
• Do I want to learn how to format books in digital and print?
• How can I find people who I can trust to handle tasks that I delegate?
• At what point does time spent learning a new skill make hiring someone else a better option?
• How can I find a decent, reputable editor? Should I also hire a proofreader?
• How much do I want to do business as an indie publisher, as well as an indie author.

Because until you have an imprint and you own your books’ ISBNs, you’re not really a publisher. Not in the strictest sense of that word.

I’ll add here that whether you’re Amazon-exclusive or not, Amazon is not your publisher. Amazon is your distributor. It is probably useful to talk about the difference here.

Amazon distributes your books. On the Internet. You could just as easily publish your work on a blog in serialized format. As an indie author, you have the option to publish your work online in serialized form and make it available by paid subscription.

Now, here’s where things get really interesting. What if it’s better not to publish a book? 🙂

Check out what I’m doing here.

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Debbi Mack

New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website: www.debbimack.com.