Monday, January 17, 2011

6 Reasons Why I'm Self-Publishing

Beginning of the End?
If you do a search on the internet today, you will see that self-publishing is all over the place. If you're an author and have an idea for a book, you don't have to scrounge around for an agent or publisher and watch the profits go mostly to them as they give you some paltry advance for all of your hard work. You can take that idea and sell it yourself with some savvy marketing and keep the vast majority of the royalties yourself.

My upcoming book, Stop Bringing Them to Church (I changed the title to give a little mystery to it as far as who "them" was) is Christian non-fiction. It talks about an issue today that really gets overlooked, mostly by the church itself. I'm currently in the middle of writing it and after a few days of trying to catch up with some other work, I'm back in the saddle again and going at a pretty decent clip. I'm not real sure that I'll reach my goal of being finished with the rough draft by the end of January but I should be relatively close.

As I've been writing, I've been bandying about the idea of which route I was going to take in terms of publishing. I'm not a newbie and I know enough about publishing houses and the like that I'm not real keen on going that route. There used to be a time where that was the only way to go. Now...well...we have options.

After praying about it and doing some research, I decided that I was going to self-publish the book. There are a couple reasons for that:

1. I don't have to wait a year or so before my book will be published which is an average wait time for many publishers. You have to jump through a million hoops just to get the book published.

Seth Godin, marketing guru and author of 12 best-selling books including Survival Is Not Enough and Permission Marketing stated on his blog in reference to contributing factors about his decision recent decision to self-publish:

I honestly can't think of a single traditional book publisher who has led the development of a successful marketplace/marketing innovation in the last decade.
Uhh...doesn't sound like the most promising news in the world.

Common With Traditional Publishing
2. I won't have to give away half of my money. A standard publisher/writer agreement is 50/50 but it really is less (considerably in some cases) than that once you start adding in advancement recoupment (if you're blessed enough to have gotten one). That's why most writers don't make money.

3. I can experiment with what works. Publishers are not known to take too many risks so it's a one size fits all plan and see which one will stick. They won't try different price points, different covers, and marketing strategies and with the way the market is today, they really can't afford to.

4. I know my book will get full attention and support. No one is going to try and sell this book as hard as and as fervent

5. More than likely, I'll probably end up making more money. Novelists don't make that much money (makes you want to cry) and non-fiction writers are pretty much in the same boat. That's with a traditional publisher. I'm pretty confident I can do much better than that. The book will not only be available in paperback format but will also be offered on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords among others. These different outlets allows me to reach more of my potential audience wherever they may be as well as keep the majority of money from sales.

6. I have total control over my book. From the cover design to the marketing to the back cover blurb. I'll have the freedom to change things mid-stream if need be. It will be my decision ultimately. A brotha ain't gon lie....I dig that.

I've Been Called Worse
Some people may say I'm crazy. There are naysayers all over the place who are saying that self-publishing is a mine field fraught with perils and it is. Not everyone can self-publish successfully. I'd say most authors are not cut out for it. However, many are or are forced into it and learn how to make it work. Many have the right personality mix to make it work.

Looks like I'm about to find out if I'm one of 'em.


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