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Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing

Over the past few months, I’ve been asking writers what their goals are for their writing. Nearly all of them have answered with, “publish my book.” Most of those writers are planning to self publish rather than pursue a traditional publishing deal.

Having self-published on Amazon Kindle and in Kindle Vella under pen names, I thought I’d share my views on the pros and cons.

Pros to Self-Publishing

I like self-publishing and wouldn’t consider querying for an agent to pitch my books to a publisher. I like the creative control and the actual control over what goes into my books, when and where they get published, and setting my own timetable for getting them in front of readers.

For the longest time Amazon had a monopoly on selling digital and print books. But other platforms have sprung up that make it fairly easy to publish and distribute them, too. A few that come to mind are Barnes and Noble, Draft2Digital, Kobo, and IngramSpark.

To find out all of your options do an online search for publishing books or distributing books. Also join writers groups and forums to see what others are currently using.

Cons to Self-Publishing

While self-publishing can be very freeing, it also means you’re responsible for every aspect of it. The biggest con is the extra work you need to do on top of writing. You have to…

  • find editors
  • find book cover designers
  • format and upload your book to the outlets you want to sell your book
  • come up with a multi-pronged marketing plan, then implement it

…along with all the small tasks that have to done to make your book visible amongst the hundreds of thousands already out there, which can be a lot of work. If you are able to, hire a virtual assistant to help with these to lessen the burden on you.

Although self-publishing is a popular avenue for authors to get their books out into the world, there is still a place for traditional publishers. I don’t know much about that world since I self-publish, but I’ll do some research and write a future post on when pursuing a traditional publishing deal makes sense.