Sunday, May 27, 2007

When to Self Publish Your Book

There Are Some Very Good Reasons to Self-publish Your Book

by Melanie Schwear

Self-publishing or print on demand (POD) publishing is becoming a very popular topic on the internet. Many people have the dream of becoming a published writer, and self-publishing gives them the satisfaction of holding an actual bound book with their name on it without having to go through all the submission and rejection with a traditional publisher.

With traditional publishing routes, the publisher makes sure to get your book onto store shelves and publicizes it well. After all, it is in their interest to do so. They make money off each book that is sold. With self-publishing, however, all of the promotion depends on you. Most self-published books never sell more than five hundred copies.

You Already Have a Fan-Base

If you are an already published writer, and you want to give your fans a little treat, self-publishing might be a great idea for you. You can quickly have any number of books printed that you can offer exclusively to website visitors or members of your fan club.

Having a pre-made fan-base is very helpful to a self-published author, because it is not easy to get people who do not know you to find and purchase your book otherwise.

You Write Very Specific Niche Non-Fiction

Self-publishing and print on demand publishing was made for specific niche non-fiction. You might be hard pressed to find a traditional publisher that will touch “The Effects of Symphonic Orchestral Music on Woodworm,” or “Five Hundred Things to Carve Out of Cheese.” However, if your niche has an audience, self-publishing a book is a great idea. It is much easier to market a book to a very specific segment of the population who are already interested in your topic.

You are Writing a Personal Memoir or Family History

These kinds of books are great for self-publishing, or especially print on demand books. That is because you would not intend to sell them at all. Having attractively bound books to present to your family at the next reunion is a great way of showing your familial pride. No one would want to publish these books professionally, and you probably would not want them to.

You are an Expert Marketer

If you are an expert book marketer or publicist and want to stretch your advertising muscles, self-publishing is a great idea. Many self-published authors cannot get their books into mainstream bookstores so all potential sales must be done online. And no one will market the book for you, unless you pay him or her to do it.

Your Book is Horrible

This last reason to self-publish your book is painful, yet valid. Anyone can get his or her book bound and printed by a print on demand or self-publishing company. It doesn’t matter if you can spell, use proper punctuation, or craft a decent story. Either a massive lack of confidence, or a major dose of realism can lead you to self-publish your book.

Self-publishing your fiction or non-fiction book has its drawbacks. You must market your own book and it may not be stocked in regular books stores. However, self-publishing or print on demand publishing, can be a good idea for people in several groups. If you are in one of these groups, I wish you the very best of luck.

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