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12 Questions You MUST Answer Before You Publish Your Book…..
Would you like to wait nine months to one year before seeing your book for sale on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore? Or would you like to see your book for sale in eight weeks or less?
Most traditionally or subsidy published authors wait almost a year before seeing their work reach their intended market. In fact, some authors won’t ever see their work published if they wait on a traditional publisher to deem their work worthy. Do you want to be lumped in with most authors? Or do you want to self-publish your work and reach those who need to hear what you have to say in a timelier manner? Just one thing to consider when making your publishing choices.
Do you want someone else deciding what your book should look like? Or would you like your book cover to represent your story the way you, the author, envision it?
Traditionally published authors almost never have a say on what their book(s) look like. Even though subsidy publishers often say you have complete control over your cover design, they sometimes bully authors into thinking they know what is best in regards to your cover, even though they have not read the book. As a self-published author, you know your story best. Your book’s cover is totally dependent upon your vision. You truly make the final decision when it comes to your book cover.
Have you ever handed your manuscript over to someone only to have them practically rewrite your entire story? Do you really want your book rewritten? Or would you rather have someone fix the grammatical errors and point out inconsistencies so the heart of your work remains the same while the manuscript gets cleaned up?
When you sign over intellectual rights, you lose the right to said work. You no longer get the final say on what your characters look like or whether or not the family in your book has a dog. Your work in essence is no longer your work. You may have created it. It may be your baby. But when you sign your baby over to the publisher, you have decided to put your baby up for adoption. When you self-publish, you decide which twists and turns are to be included and which ones are to be removed. You are the boss. You maintain creative control.
How often do you want to be paid? Once a quarter? Twice a year? Once a year? Or would you rather see money being deposited in your account monthly?
Amazon, the world’s largest book seller, deposits royalty payments directly into your account monthly. That’s right. When you self-publish there is no waiting on a publisher to be paid months before you see a dime from your work. Self-published authors have no middle man who decides when the author gets their money.
Do you want someone else to take the bulk of your pay? Or would you rather earn up to 70% from your book sales?
Traditional publishers would go out of business if they did not earn a portion of your royalty. That is just how it goes. Subsidy publishers want money up front and a good portion of your royalty earnings. And plenty of people hand their money over willingly in order to be published. When you self-publish, you are the direct link between the book seller and your bank account. When you price your book between 2.99 and 9.99 on Amazon, you will receive 70% of that sale on a monthly basis. Considering that Amazon sells the most books of any venue, your income can add up to quite a bit. Who is holding on to your money, you or a publisher?
Do you like playing the guessing game in regards to book sales? Or would you rather know how many books you are selling on a daily basis?
When you are your own publisher, you do not have to wait for a quarterly or semi-annual report to let you know how many books you are selling. You can track those figures daily. Every day you can see how many books you are selling and how much you are earning. It really pays to be your own publisher.
Do you like your book price to be so high no one buys it? Or would you rather be able to lower and raise your book’s price to match the market?
Let’s face it, when we first start out as authors, who is going to pay $12.99 for our ebook? We are virtually unknowns. We need to build a reader base. One of the best ways to do that is to price our books affordably. When a publisher is controlling your selling price, affordability is often not a possibility. But, when you determine the sale price, you can price your book exactly how you want to. You can run a sale, you can lower the price for marketing purposes. You can do what you want because you are in control of your own book!
Do you like to pay retail price when you order a copy of your own book? Or would you rather purchase copies of your book at that low publisher price?
Let’s face it, one way publishers make money is by selling you your own book at an inflated price. Of course, if you order copies by the hundreds, you get a discount. How would you like to pay that same low price even if you order only one copy of your book? That is just one of the ways being your own publisher saves you money.
Do you like paying a subsidy publisher thousands of dollars to perform the technical work of publishing only to turn around and pay most of your royalty amount to them as well? Or would you rather publish yourself completely for free?
If you are willing to invest the time it takes to learn the trade, you can publish yourself for free. Yes, you read that right. You can publish your book for free. I admit, learning to format is tough. Creating covers that will compete in today’s market is tough. But, it can be done. The question becomes, what are you willing to do? To Learn? And if there are some parts to the publishing process that is just not your cup of tea, you can hire out those specific skills to get the job done right.
Do you want to only publish one book per year? Or would you rather release your stories faster, creating a reader base that much quicker?
It takes anywhere from nine months to a year and a half for a publisher to publish a book. That is a long time. If you know what you are doing, you can publish your book in a week or two. Let’s face it, time is money. As our books are waiting in a publisher’s computer queue for its turn to be noticed, as self-published authors we could have two or more books published on our own. That means, more readers are seeing our work. Our readers are not growing impatient. And more money is being deposited in our bank accounts.
Do you like errors in your reading material? Or would you rather read something that has as few mistakes as possible?
One thing I hear the most complaints about is the unwillingness of publishers to fix errors after a book has been published. Subsidy publishers want to charge you upwards of $100 to fix errors on one page of your manuscript. When you self-publish, you can make changes to your manuscript at any time and have those changes go into effect within 24 hours, usually less.
Do you like to blame people for your lack of success? Or do you realize that your success is wholly dependent upon you?
If you are willing to work hard, learn from your mistakes, keep pushing on no matter what gets in your way, then self-publishing is for you. Self-publishing is not the easy way out. It is not the last resort. It is for authors who do not want to place their success in the hands of someone else. Self-publishing can be the best thing you ever do after writing your book.
About the Authors: Daniel J. Mawhinney & Darlene Shortridge
Dan & Darlene have a passion and a heart for helping independent authors to successfully publish and market their stories worth telling and messages worth sharing.