After finishing my first book, Gods From the Machine, there's several things I'd like to discuss with you all about it. The journey was a long and arduous one, but one that I felt was completely worth it, both for the experience and to understand the intricacies of the publishing world. I'll probably name five things I liked about self-publishing, but for now you get the reasons why I was skeptical. Ultimately I chose it because I'm a self-starter type of person who likes to have full complete control over all creative aspects of my work. Others might not feel the same and here's why:
1. Sole Marketing Rests On You
One of the biggest issues that people have with self-publishing stems with the fact that they have to do marketing work themselves. This means scheduling book signings, getting listed in journals, and all social media rests on their shoulders. Round-the-clock marketing may not suit most people who are already busy with personal business, which is already a big job in itself. Also, maintaining the same type of quality and consistency is quite daunting to those who are unfamiliar.
2. Market Saturation
With the advent of eBooks and do-it-yourself sites, many people have flooded the market with books that claim to be the next "big" thing. This misconception has led to basically everyone thinking they can become an author. And though it's possible that anyone can potentially churn out the next best-seller, that doesn't mean it will be your Aunt Susie. Also, with the market being overwhelmed by people who refuse to take their work seriously, it suffers, which in turn affects the views on the general public. If Aunt Susie had a book full of typos and a cover that looked like a bad PhotoShop experiment, wouldn't it turn you off too?
3. Income Potential
Statistically, the average income potential is quite low compared to traditional publishing. About $10,000 a year, to be in a rough estimate. Not exactly enough to quit your day job.
4. Consumer Appeal
Coming back to what I said about the market being bombarded with indie authors, the consumer appeal has been affected. Not only because Aunt Susie is shoving out meaningless dribble, but also because there is a stigma that comes with the territory. Most traditional publishers go through a pretty rigorous screening process, which makes or breaks a novel. That same red tape does not apply to indie authors, therefore without professional opinions, people may perceive the concept as overall less professional.
5. Success is Limited
There is no doubt that there has been a great deal of successful indie authors (Amanda Hocking comes to mind), but the truth is that the success rate is very limited. Though the same can be said by authors that go the traditional route, the fact is that they get a financial backing and more resources than compared to a self-publisher. This is no big deal for one who can go out and do it themselves, but it still is something that raises concern for most people.
Well there you have it, the five worst things I feel about self-publishing. Tell me what you think in comments. And if you haven't picked up my novel, Gods From the Machine yet, then you should because it just happens to be the best thing ever.