Once upon a time, becoming an author was like becoming a top athlete. In other words, unless you were exceptionally talented and also got a lucky break, you may as well kiss your dreams goodbye.
Fortunately, all of that is changing. Literally anyone can self-publish and it’s meant that a wave of highly talented writers who were once overlooked for whatever reason can now get their works onto the shelves. It’s a game-changer.
Of course, traditional publishing is never going to die out – there are still endless benefits associated with it. You only have to look at Heather Weber and the fact that she varies with her method of publishing, to see that this is the case.
To give more of an insight on what indie publishing can provide, let’s take a look at some of the big benefits that it is providing to writers.
Speed is no longer an issue
Ask any author who has ventured down the traditional publishing route what the main stumbling block was and there’s a very good chance that speed will be the response.
In simple terms, self-publishing allows a book to hit the shelves in record-speeds in comparison to one that goes down the traditional route.
To put timeframes on it, some books can go on sale within just weeks of being written by an independent author.
There’s no excess inventory to deal with
This is one of the more interesting benefits about self-publishing, as up until fairly recently it just didn’t exist.
Sure, self-publishing has been an option for years, but whether or not it was actually viable is a different matter in its entirety. For a long time the author had to take the risk of printing a larger number of books, understanding that they might not sell and they would be left with an excess.
Now, with all of the custom printing solutions available, this is no longer an issue and authors can generally print on an as and when basis.
The author regains control
If you have ever been with a traditional publisher in the past, you’ll know all about your lack of control. When it comes to planning, editing and marketing the book – it’s all in the hands of the publisher. Most of the time, this is beneficial to the author anyway, as there are many areas which are best left to the big publishing companies.
Nevertheless, there are occasions where an element of control is most certainly nice. It also provides the author with more flexibility and they aren’t governed by someone else’s guidelines.
Finally, let’s discuss the finances. While each traditional book publishing deal will work differently, in general an author will receive royalties. At times, these royalties might be in advance, while on other occasions the author may have to wait until copies have been sold.
Regardless of the type of structure, the end result is that the publishing company takes most of the profits. In the case of self-publishing, the split is much more even. Sure, you may have to pay for the publishing costs yourself, but you at least retain the full proceeds which is in stark contrast to the alternative.