Many people who have no background or education in the field of writing are interested in publishing a book. Whether because they have a personal story to tell or want to share information about a specific topic with a niche community, these individuals are searching for venues through which to put their work in print. While publishing a book is an unequivocally venerable goal, individuals who have no previous publications or lack the credentials, which would make their work marketable in the eyes of publishers, oftentimes have their manuscripts rejected. In a world where the likelihood of book publication is contingent upon whether the work will generate commercial success, this is not surprising. In essence, writers who have developed a strong and loyal fan base over the years—and celebrities whose episodic stories engender intrigue from the public—are more likely to garnish attention from many publishing houses than previously unknown authors. And although independent publishing houses, which specifically seek out the work of individuals who have never been published before, are a good option for people anxious to see their first novel or how-to guide in print form, the chances that one’s manuscript will be selected are often slim. For this reason, many people determined to share their ideas with the world have turned to self-publishing. This decision can be advantageous for several reasons.
1. Publishing speed
Traditional publishing markets can often take up to two years to print and circulate your book. Self-published books, however, are frequently brought to the consumer within months.
2. Creative control
The likelihood of having the final word with respect to matters such as editing, cover layout, writing style, and the marketing process of your manuscript is much higher when you self-publish versus working with a traditional publisher.
3. Online marketing
According to predictions published by Cisco systems in 2010 , internet use will be ubiquitous and internet spending will produce $3 trillion in revenue by 2025. With these numbers in mind, the likelihood of generating income with a self-published book through use of online marketing is substantive. Luckily, many individuals interested in self-publication will not be alone in this process given that organizations such as Lulu.com include marketing packages designed to spread the word about the novel online.
When I became aware that self-publishing was a viable means through which I could put my manuscript in print, I jumped at the opportunity. After creating an account with the company online, I stitched the chapters of my novel together and submitted the entire work to one of the company’s editors. While I waited for the grammatical and textual corrections to come back, I perused the website to gain a deeper understanding of how the company’s publishing process worked. This step is important for those seeking self-publication because prices, methods of distribution, and editing processes will vary from publisher to publisher.
With the self-publisher that I chose, the steps toward publication were very straight-forward and simple. The aspect of the publication process that I was least impressed with was the revenue I was able to generate outside of sales made through the company, which was less than 1/3 of my earnings when purchases were made through it. These considerations-in addition to types of editing services offered and which distribution channels a self-publication company will expose your work to-are important for the writer interested in ensuring that her or his personal and professional goals are met. In addition to self-publishers such as Lulu, those interested in foregoing the traditional publication process can consider venues such as Mill City Press, Outskirts Press, and Dog Ear Publishing.