The Risks & Rewards Of Self-Publishing


The Risks & Rewards Of Self-Publishing

Most writers dream of becoming published, but getting published is not an easy feat.

That’s why many authors decide to self-publish their work instead of waiting around for a publishing company. While self-publishing can be beneficial, there are also some disadvantages.

The following is a list of risks and rewards of self-publishing.

Pro: It’s faster.

When you self-publish, you can do it on your own timeline. There’s no need to wait around for your work to be accepted and then work its way through the legal and financial phases of publishing.

If you want to get published quickly, self-publishing is the best option.

Con: You don’t get feedback.

When you self-publish your book, you don’t get the professional editing and feedback provided through a professional publishing company.

Sure, you can hire your own editors and proofreaders, but that could end up costing you a fortune, and you’ll still have to spend a great deal of time finding the best option and waiting for them to edit your work.

Pro: You’re on your own schedule.

As mentioned above, self-publishing is faster, but it also allows you to work at your own pace. When you work with a publishing company, they force you to meet certain deadlines in order to maintain your end of the contract, and this can cause you to submit work you’re not entirely proud of or become stressed.

When you self-publish, the timeline is completely your own, so you can work at whatever pace is best for you.

Con: It can promote slacking.

Although being able to work at your own pace is nice, it can also be detrimental. If you are prone to procrastination, self-publishing can force you to take forever to finish your book or publication.

Pro: It gives you creative freedom.

When you self-publish your book, you have the ability to create whatever work you want with your own creative freedom. There is nobody in the background telling you to change names of characters or add certain elements or events to your book. You also have creative freedom over imagery and marketing.

Con: It still has a stigma.

Although self-publishing is becoming more and more popular, there is still a stigma behind it. Some consumers believe that authors self publish because they cannot get their work published the traditional way.

Even though this may not be true, it’s still something you have to consider and be comfortable with before going that route.

Pro: You can keep most of your profits.

Self-published authors get to keep the majority of their book sales for themselves. You do not have to share a profit with your publisher, and instead can place all of that money in your own pocket.

Con: You have to do it all yourself.

Self-published authors are not just responsible for writing and publishing the book, but they’re also responsible for the marketing and PR that comes with it.

When you work with a publisher, they usually take care of all this for you, which can help your book gain better publicity and generate more sales. When you do it yourself, you’re now responsible for all the marketing collateral and tactics.

This article was contributed by Jessica Brown. She is a freelance writer and aspiring author.  She often uses an online grammar check tool for professionals to proof her work before publishing.

Ralf Skirr Ralf's comment: I'm a big fan of self publishing. Some of the cons mentioned above can be avoided by hiring peple (editors, for example) or by using services, like the ones mentioned below.

This will cost money, of course, but in return you get to keep the higher fees from the book sales. If you want to find out more about how to self-publish, here are 3 truly awesome sites with lots of info on self publishing:

CreateSpace – this is Amazons publishing company. Lots of info on the site, and if you want to get started it's good for e-books and print paperbacks. No hardcover.

Lulu – One of the first and most professional self-publishing services on the internet. Good for ebooks, and printing paperbacks as well as hardcover books.

Smashwords – Ebooks only. Claims to be 'the world's largest distributor of indie ebooks.' I guess 'indie' means they don't like Amazon. :-)

Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, has published a free (at least at the time of writing this) ebook, worth downloading:


Category: Internet Business Blog |


Leave a comment
  1. David Leonhardt June 4, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    I agree in general about the benefits of self-publishing, but it also does depend on the nature of your book. Keeping most of your profits is the big, big advantage, but only if you can sell it yourself, which is generally much easier for non-fiction than for fiction.

    Many of our clients choose to self-publish, just because its easier.  For my own book, I never bothered seeking a publisher.  But that is not for everyone.

  2. I'm with David on this.   ONe may get to keep the bulk of the profits- but it's not clear the notoreity factor will be matched.

  3. Ralf Skirr June 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Thanks for your comments, David and Roy. Self published books almost always rely 100% on the author's promotional efforts, except for a few rare viral successes.

    On the other hand it's extremely hard to get accepted by a relevant publisher – and even that doesn't guarantee success.

    I read somewhere (no idea if it's true) that 9 out of 10 books from major publishers are losers, and that the 1 winner has to make up for the losses of the other 9.

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