Sunday, March 4, 2007

Why Self-Publish?

By: Katrina Williams

You have written a book. Now you want to publish it. Which way do you go? Self-Publishing or Traditional Publishing?

For most people, the traditional method seems safer, more reliable, and simply, easier. But it can take a long time to see their labored-over work in print. For many people, that dreaded rejection letter, saying their work is not something the publisher can market successfully at this time, leaves them feeling disillusioned. Thats when other means of getting the book into print comes to mind.

Self Publish. It makes sense for the writer who has the money, the time to devote to promotion, and the desire to be his or her own boss. There are basic steps that will allow you to be successful at self-publishing your own book.


Before you write your story, make sure there is a market for it. This can be very hard for some writers to comprehend because they may believe the story they have written is one that everyone will want to read. If you determine the market for your book before you write it, you can save yourself a lot of aggravation in the long run. Finding that you spent two years writing a book that no one wants to read can be a hard pill to swallow.


Once your story is written and you have determined there is a market for it, research the publishing industry. Learn the ins and outs before jumping in feet first and sinking quickly. You will avoid many pitfalls that new writers make when self-publishing their own books.

Find Funding

Find funding for self-publishing your book. If you have the capital yourself, great. If not, consider other sources that would help you raise the capital for self-publishing your own book.

Get the Book Reviewed

Before your book is set to go to the printer, send out copies of the manuscript to magazines and online book sites that review books. You want to send press releases also to let the world know your book is coming on the market.

Design the Book

Once you have the funding, decide on the design of the book and locate a printing company to print your book. Print-On-Demand companies and subsidy publishing companies are good places to start. Each type has its own advantages, so check out both types of printing companies before deciding on one to produce your book.

Develop a Marketing Strategy

Now that the book is printed, the real work begins: promoting and marketing your book. Design a publicity campaign and an advertising campaign for the book. You should have a marketing strategy in place to sell those millions of books you have always dreamed of selling.

Research Distribution Methods

Explore the various methods for distributing your books. Contact bookstore chains, individual bookstores, and online bookstores for stocking your book. Bookstores are not the only places to sell your book. Research distribution channels such as wholesalers, libraries, and direct mail order. Consider non-traditional methods and places to get your book in the hands of readers. Be inventive. Creative.

Promote Your Book

Now promote, promote, promote your book. If you have found a niche that is perfect for your book, and you promote the book like crazy, you will have achieved that ultimate goal of selling millions of copies of your book.

Ready for the next one? Self-Publish now.


Katrina Parker Williams is an English Instructor and teaches English Composition and Grammar at a community college. She is also the author of a fictional novel Liquor House Music and publishes writing and publishing articles online. Visit Katrinas website at


Patrick said...

Quote: "For many people, that dreaded rejection letter, saying their work is not something the publisher can market successfully at this time, leaves them feeling disillusioned. Thats when other means of getting the book into print comes to mind."

As an English instructor, you must surely agree that this is part of the problem with self-publishing.

For some self-published writers, there is a reason they're receiving the "dreaded" rejection letters. Self-publishing shouldn't be regarded as a detour around rejection from traditional publishers. There are many lessons to be learned from writers who face rejection and continue to better their work until they receive an acceptance.

How would you suggest that such a writer be able to tell when their work really is deserving of publication?

the Author said...

You are absolutely correct, self-publishing your book is not a detour around rejections from traditional publishers.

There are advantages in self-publishing over traditional in the same manner that the traditional publishers have over self-publishing.

The writer must remember that traditional publishers will always favor works that have higher potentials to be accepted in the mass markets, they usually will not accept book intended for a smaller scale of society.

Writers have different purposes on writing a book. While others usually aims for the high profit others also just wanted to share their interests to a fewer number of audience. In the latter case, the best option is self-publishing.

If you are really interested to hit on traditional publishing houses, then you must not resort to self-publishing out of frustrations. Try to improve your work and focus on the fact that "traditional publishing houses only accepts books that will hit the mass markets", this can even make you start from scratch, but who cares if that is your goal.