This question is becoming one that plagues every writer. Do I send my manuscript out to a publisher, or do I just publish it myself? Surely there’s no reason to give a publisher most of my royalties just to get their logo on my cover?
The benefits of a publisher
Unfortunately, the decision is not that black and white. A publisher does a lot of work to get a book out there. They source and pay an editor, they source and pay a cover designer and layout artists. They pay for the print run and the production and conversion of an eBook. They can get your book into book stores. They do your marketing.
All of these things take time. They take effort. They take money. The benefit of going with a publisher is that they cover all of these costs up front, and you can worry about the part that’s important to you – writing!
So why bother to self publish?
On the other hand, if you’re willing and able to fund these things yourself, then self publishing may just be for you! Make no mistake, every aspect of the publishing process is important. An editor will help you refine your story so that others will love it as much as you do. A good cover will draw readers to your book. A well laid out text will encourage readers to keep reading. A print run, while not vital, will help you reach a non-tech audience. Marketing is incredibly hard work, and is never-ending, but it’s vital to ensuring that readers find your book. If people don’t know it exists, they can’t buy it, now can they?
Neglect any aspect of the process, and you’re going to be sitting in a corner wondering why you’ve only sold three copies – all of them to your mother.
Luckily there are a lot of people out there who offer these kinds of services, and are conscious of the self publisher’s plight. There are ways to market yourself online that won’t break the bank – a huge help to the self published author! At eReads SA we offer most of these services, and oodles of friendly advice. We’ll be investigating each aspect as the blog goes on, so keep an eye.