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Should I Self-Publish My Book?

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Self-publishing has become extremely popular among independent writers and authors due to the simple fact that publishing your own book has become so attainable by the online technology available to us.


Confused man with a question mark
How should I self-publish?

The general idea of self-publishing your own book is a simple one: upload your book to Amazon and reap the rewards. You’ve written your own book so why not go the whole hog and publish it yourself too? Especially in the current economical climate where keeping costs down is important for a lot of people.


In answer to the question, should you self-publish your own book? Absolutely!


But, here are a few things to think about before going ahead solo.

  • Credibility

  • Royalties

  • Post-publishing

  • Costs


And before you get started on any kind of publishing - please, please identify what your book goals are. This will help you choose which publishing option is best for you and you can read about how your goals affect your choice here: What Do You Want To Achieve From Publishing Your Book?


CREDIBILITY

Of course, independent writers self-publish their books all the time. But have you thought about the prestige that comes with an official publisher’s imprint?

Product details for Amazon publishing
Amazon Publisher details

I mean this (above) little tag that will show on the product details section of your book's sales page on Amazon. And yes, people DO pay attention to this tag. Because when parting with their money they want to know that they are paying for a quality product.


Without the publisher’s branding, your book product detail will publicly display this:

Amazon product details print screen
Product details for Amazon publishing

So, a reader will immediately be able to tell whether your book has been “professionally” published or if you’ve gone it alone.


People have strong beliefs that publishers uphold high standards when publishing books so the lack of publisher presence on your Amazon sales page could be off-putting.


Rightly or wrongly, this could have an impact on your sales. You could have self-published the most amazing book in the world but this simple tag immediately decreases your book’s credibility to the reader.



ROYALTIES

One of the benefits of self-publishing your own book is that you receive 100% of the royalties earned. That is after the hosting platform you use take their cut, of course!


But, think about how much you are looking to earn from this book. Because if you are dreaming of your book setting you up for life on a cushty passive income then it’s likely that you will need to do a lot more than just hit the “submit” button.


To give you an idea, the average royalties you can expect to earn from a paperback sale (price dependent & after print costs) is £2.50. Say you sell 100 books a month, that’s £250 a month and £3,000 a year. Which is a nice little brucey bonus but not enough to quit your job on.


You need to be selling approximately 45 books a day to earn you a tidy £40,000 a year. But, believe me when I say that there is a lot of work that has to go on behind the scenes to sell 45 books per day!


My point on royalties is to manage your expectations. Read your hosting platform's charges and royalty payments terms. Have a clear goal in your mind of ideally how much money you want your book to earn you and how you will go about making that happen. And don’t go quitting your day job just yet…



POST-PUBLISHING

If you truly want your book to be successful, your self-publishing journey doesn’t stop once your book has been uploaded for public sale. If all you do is hit “submit” and hope for the best, chances are not a lot will happen.


For a book to be successful, you really need to put the work in behind the scenes.

  • Do you have a strong social media following as an author in the book community?

  • How are you going to get your book reviewed?

  • How will you promote your book to your ideal customers in order for them to buy it?

  • Have you checked out ads?

  • Do you have an author website?

None of these marketing methods are mandatory (and there are many more besides these), but they are all important factors towards making sure your book sells. If you don’t fancy getting involved with this and social media isn’t really your bag, you could even look into hiring a publicist once your manuscript is near completion who will help you with all of the above and more.



COSTS

Yes, technically self-publishing is free. But at what cost to your book’s future?


Think about your own goals for your book. Do you simply want it to be uploaded, wipe your hands of it and see if you get lucky enough that someone buys it?


Do you dream of your book being received by your perfect audience, consumed and appreciated and rated highly on Amazon reviews?


Or do you want to be a highly acclaimed best-selling author with a book that has soared to the number 1 spot on the Amazon Best Sellers list and sells thousands of copies a month?


Truth is, if you have invested very little money into your book, chances are it may sit at the first option and gather cobwebs on the Amazon shelves. So, regardless of whether you end up opting for a Hybrid Publishing service to assist you with your book publication or whether you go it alone, if you want your book to be successful you are likely going to need to put some money behind it.


Here are some services you might want to invest in to help your book achieve its full potential:

  • Beta reader

  • Editor

  • Cover Designer

  • Proof-reader

  • Formatter

  • Publicist

To highlight again, the services you may require for your book publication will largely depend on the outcomes you want to achieve from your book. HAve a read of the blog post 'How much does it cost to publish your book?' for a more detailed guide of the costs involved.


So, if you're still thinking "should I self-publish my book?" If you think you can professionally edit your book, design a best-selling book cover, format your own book professionally and proofread the hell out of it to dot the i’s and cross the t’s then absolutely do it!


Self-publishing guide front cover - confused lady with question marks
The step by step guide to self-publishing

If you're still wondering "should I self-publish my book", this guide is for you! To help you reach your self-publishing goals, we are currently giving our Step by Step Guide to Self-Publishing eBook away for FREE to our subscribers. Our guide will help you with every hurdle towards hitting the finish line “submit” button.

If you decide you’d like a team behind you, backing you all the way to publishing completion, we can be that team. Send us your manuscript today and start your author journey.







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