Time was that self-publishing carried with it a stigma of inferiority to traditional publishing. The consensus was that people self-published because their writing was not good enough to attract the attention of a traditional publisher. While this may have been true to a great extent, it was not one hundred percent true. Nor is it one hundred percent true today.
In fact, self-publishing today is garnering new respect as some of the big name traditional publishers are adding self-publishing arms to their organizations. WestBow is one such publisher under the auspices of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Such publishing comes under the name of subsidy publishing, meaning that the author subsidizes part of the publishing costs.
Should you self-publish? This question invites others that you may wish to consider before making your decision?
- Why do you want to self-publish? Is it that you are impatient and do not want to endure the long process of traditional publishing:? Is it that you do not want to put in the effort to make your work excellent? Or is it that you wish to keep most of your royalties? Your motive for self-publishing must be the right one. For example, you may have influence in a particular niche market where your book may sell very well.
- Do you have the financial resources to self-publish? Self-publishing is expensive. You need to put money up front and then hope that you recoup it later. Many an author has a basement or garage full of unsold self-published books.
- Do you have the mental and physical stamina to handle every detail of the self-publishing process? When you self-publish, you become the publisher, the marketer, the distributor, the salesperson, and the bookkeeper. You are responsible for every aspect of the publishing process except the actual printing of your book.
Scripture tells us to count the cost before assuming a project (Luke 14:28). If you can answer positively to the three questions above, then self-publishing may be for you. If it is, you will find it to be a rewarding experience full of personal satisfaction.