7 reasons to take a chance on self-publishing your book

You’ve written a book and you want to get it published, but either your efforts to get it published in the traditional way have come to nothing or you want to try out an alternative. It’s a story that’s familiar to many of us in the world of independent publishing. Another story we hear a lot is that people are wary of self-publishing and reluctant to give it a go.

While there are serious things to consider and evaluations to be made before you decide to go ahead with publishing your book on your own, there are also plenty of good reasons to give it a go. Here are seven reasons to take a chance on self-publishing your book.

Control what you do
One of the best reasons to go into independent publishing is the sheer amount of control you get over what you do. You can control it all, from deciding what to write and how long you want your book to be, to choosing covers, getting the work edited and actually publishing it.

Admittedly, all of this can seem daunting to a newbie, but there is a growing range of support for independent authors and often the thrill of getting to write exactly what you want is more than enough to give people the push they need to self-publish.

Set your own pricing structure
This is a pretty practical point, but the flexibility in pricing your book is another good reason to consider independent publishing. Essentially, you get to choose the price, which means you have the scope to set the price for your book lower than it would be if it was published traditionally. In turn, this means that it might well be easier for you to interest readers to purchase your novel, because 99p is a price that’s much more manageable than £9.99, particularly when you’re asking readers to take a chance on a new author.

If you take a look at some self-published authors on Amazon, you sometimes find that they price their first book at 99p and then raise the price slightly for subsequent books. This can be a good way of hooking people and offering good value while still being realistic about your business.

It’s a growing industry
Independent publishing is a growing field as more and more people – and more and more quality authors – start to tap into it. So, if you believe in your book and want to see it published, this is a great time to start getting involved in this growing industry.

Get valuable feedback and develop your work
Another reason to consider self-publishing is that it offers you a good chance to get valuable feedback on your work, which you can then use to develop and improve your subsequent writing. Arguably, this is easier to do when you’re operating on your own rather than being answerable to a publisher, because there’ll be less pressure for you to succeed with your first book as you’re much less likely to have someone else’s investment riding on it.

Naturally, we all put pressure on ourselves and want to do well straight away, but it helps to accept that writing is a continually evolving process, and sometimes a little constructive feedback from readers (learning on the job, in other words) is just what we need to take things to the next level.

Learn about the business
Getting into independent publishing is also a fantastic way to learn more about the publishing business from the inside. By publishing my own books, I’ve been involved in processes I previously knew very little or even nothing about. For example, editing your book, getting it formatted ready for publication, sorting out how you want to publish it and where, and the marketing procedures you’ll need are things you’ll be able to learn more about.

Even if you then decide to move away from your writing and do something else, these are all valuable skills you’ll be able to use elsewhere, so it’s definitely a really good learning exercise.

You don’t know how well you might do
Also, think about it. You might be sceptical of independent publishing because you’re worried your book will bomb, but this is a worry that all authors have, no matter how they’re published. You could just as easily bomb if you were published traditionally.

You never know how well you’ll do unless you try it, and there is a growing list of self-publishing success stories. Play your cards right and write as well as you can, and you could end up being one of them.

It’s really fun
Finally, independent publishing is really fun. You get to meet great people, work in new areas and watch as your book starts to sell for the first time. There’s no feeling quite like it, and the knowledge that you’ve done it all yourself makes it all the more worthwhile.

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