So first things first. Why do authors choose to self publish? There are many answers to this question. Some do it because they want to just get their work out there. Others do it because they feel it is the best way for them to get noticed. And many others do it because they want to share their work and ability with the rest of the world.
Now these are valid reasons. But like everything else in this world, there are pros and cons to self publishing.
- You are able to share your work with others.
- It can help to get you noticed by publishers and literary agents.
- You can generate sales on books that you have worked on for years.
- It does not cost much to self publish (There are sites that will allow you do publish for free. Don't spend money with other companies).
- It pushes you to work harder for what you want.
- There are less people to take a percentage of the sale.
- Because people find it easy and affodable to self publish, everybody rushes to put out their work; even if it's not ready.
- People spend hundreds of dollars on sites that encourage people to self publish with their packaged plans.
- The best way for your book to sell is pushing advertising for it; which can sometimes become costly.
- You have to spend money to buy your books up front to sell them to make a profit or else you make less per book selling online (that is until you get a lot of momentum and following).
- It can take a while before a literary agent or publisher takes notice of you.
- You have to setup your own book signings.
- Because of self publishing there are more authors out there than there was five years ago (can be a good thing and a bad thing).
Now I don't want anyone to think just because you are self publishing that you're in this by yourself; you're not. There are hundreds of authors that are out there going through the same thing you are. There are groups on Linkedin that help authors connect, share stories, share best practices, and even give advice. Here are a list of groups that I found useful information and help with my writing and even promoting my books.
Another useful social media site to use is Twitter. You can connect with other writers, literary agents, publishers, even celebrities. It doesn't guarantee anything, but has a possibility to lead to something greater.