If you have a book in your hands and are considering getting it "out there," you will soon find out that your options are overwhelming. The main thing to consider, however, is whether you will self-publish your book or not. Self-publishing means you will take complete charge of your manuscript, from production to marketing. This has its pros and cons, all of which you should keep in mind when considering self-publishing.
- The main advantage of self-publishing is the immediate reward. Traditional publishing requires sending out your manuscript out over and over again until it finds a home, dealing with rejections, and maybe rewriting it to fit a publisher's or agent's requests. All this is part of the normal process of publishing, but, again, it takes time.
- In the past, self-publishing meant that you had to order thousands of books and then pile them up somewhere in your garage, but the advent of Print-on-Demand Publishing (POD) means you can do now order one copy at a time, making self-publishing affordable to everybody.
- Self-publishing is a great option for speakers, professors, and experts who have a following and can tap into a niche market eager for information. Those who are targeting a specific niche have more of a chance of selling a reasonable number of copies.
- Self-publishing can get expensive. Even with POD publishers, you are still using your own money to buy an ISBN, paying for copies in advance, and marketing and distributing your book.
- Self-publishing means you are the only one in charge of promotion. If you are shy or have trouble dealing with numbers, this may not be the best option for you. When promoting your book, you need to be relentless and willing to go the distance; otherwise, the book is probably doomed before it even hits the streets.
- In self-publishing, you don't have an editor to guide you through the process, helping you weed out bad grammar, flowery writing, and unnecessary words. Traditionally published books are always awarded an editor, which makes them ready for the market and more able to compete with the millions of other titles out there.