The Real Advantage of Self-Publishing

Here are some frequently mentionned advantages of self-publishing:

  1. Control over the book’s promotion and availability:  If book sales are slow initially, you can continue to market and promote the book, whereas a traditional publisher will usually remainder the book AND may now deem you as an author with a poor sales record.
  2. Greater potential profit: While an author with a traditional publisher is likely to earn approximately 5-10% of each retail sale, the self-published author could be earning 50% or more of each retail sale (depending on book pricing). Which leads me to the next advantage…
  3. Total control: Since the publisher makes decisions such as choosing cover design, print run and pricing, many the traditionally-published author feels that their book could have succeeded if only… If only it was marketed directly to a certain kind of store. If only they hadn’t used that ugly cover design. If only it was priced higher or lower. The self-published author has control over those decisions.

BUT… here is what I have found to be the REAL advantage of self-publishing:

For me the REAL advantage of self-publishing was suddenly becoming part of a community, even if loosely bound that include the most outside-the-box and no-obstacle-is-insurmountable thinkers I have ever met. It has totally changed my thinking of what is possible.

In reading self-publishing news, I learned that Rich Dad, Poor Dad was originally self-published. When I heard Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert T. Kiyosaki speaking about his books, I instantly felt I must read one (really listen to, because I use audiobooks). It instantly made sense to me that Kiyosaki published outside the mainstream publishing world, because his financial advice is also outside the mainstream advice of how to get a good job with nice benefits.

And that is my point. Many (not all) self-published works end up self-published because their authors are marching to a different drummer than most people. Self-publishing associations, such as the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) or SPAN (Small Publishers of North America) are filled with creative people with very original approaches to meeting life’s challenges.

For me reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad led directly or indirectly (one author recommends another) to listening to:

Entering the world of self-publishing also meant reading the newsletters and news of people who were taking unique approaches to their business. In some cases, breaking all the rules had really worked for these folks. Maybe the world isn’t flat.

My next publishing project is a result of me doing more, “I wonder if…” and “Why don’t we…” thinking. It will be self-published because I hope it will be my most lucrative creative venture and I want a big piece of the pie. But it will also be a direct result of my entering the world of self-published authors and taking that fork in the road that is less-traveled.

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