Self – Publishing Advantages and Frustrations

Self Publishing has become the way to go for more and more aspiring authors. This is the option where authors often pay to have their books published themselves rather than by the traditional publishers. Of course this is not the first preference by most authors. Rejection from traditional publishers, along with limited control on some works has made the option of self publishing a necessity for some authors.

There is nothing wrong with this option of publication despite its negative outlook by many. Traditional publishing has produced some of the best works as we know, from Stephen King, V.C Andrews, Michael Connelly, and Patricia Cornwell just to name a few. Can a self published book be as good as any books written by any of these authors? Yes. I am not taking anything away from these classic authors. But a self published author can offer a great story too. Because a book is self published it does not mean that it wasn’t beautifully written or that it won’t be good.

Given a fair chance many self published books can be great, and some were given contracts by traditional publishers. Amanda Hocking sold 450,000 copies of her nine young adult paranormal books. They were mainly self published e-books, but they sold copies just this amount of copies just the same. She even made it to the top 50 in the USA Today best selling list. Not a bad accomplishment for a self published author. Then there was H.P Mallory another self published author who sold 70,000 copies of her e-books.

This number was so impressive she caught the attention of the traditional publisher Random House who winded up giving her a three book contract. These two examples come from e-book publishers (another extremely successful example of self publishing) but still self publishing examples.

So self publishing can be successful and it has its advantages. Like everything it has its good and bad points. What are the advantages? The author has more control of his or her story and how it should be published. The author has final say on everything basically, and there are no deadlines to work with like there would be with a traditional publisher. This allows more flexibility. The author also has more control on book pricing, and basically controls everything.

There are many frustrations and the disadvantages. Many newspapers refuse to review self published books which hurts the chance of the book gaining the much needed exposure such reviews get. Some companies will review any books for a fee, but this can be considered a disadvantage in a way too, because people will question the integrity of a paid review whether it’s fair to do so or not. has this service but they urge the author not to pay for a review unless they really believe their book is that good.

The same way the author has control, the author also is responsible for the promoting of the book. The author is responsible for the promoting and for making people care that their book exist. Being a self published book will make this challenging already, so the author has to work really hard to get the word out. Money will be needed for many promotions, but there is word of mouth, the old and free way to get the word out. (That works for traditional publishing too)

So while tons of work may come with self publishing the rewards can be as good as with traditional publishing especially if the self publishing author winds up with a contract like H.P Mallory did. But for this to happen the author has to make sure his or her work is good and not lazily written as some self published works can be. A successful self published book should not look like an obviously self published book. The author is responsible for the editing of the book and for all punctuation and spelling errors. This only adds to the challenges of self publishing.

As the author of Love Child I do know and understand the challenges of self publishing. I have faced the hardships of sales, and the lack of money for promotion. However with word of mouth, and the power of the internet I have been able to spread the word on the book more than ever before as well as many of my fellow Self Published authors. The World Wide Web has proved essential in spreading the word, and Love Child has received a positive review by Midwest Book Review. It also has received good reviews by some readers who read it.

This is good news for any Self Published author despite the challenges and they are always there. And despite these challenges I still recommend Self Publishing when all else fails. Would the traditional publishing be better? Yes it would be but many good authors have been overlooked by the traditional publishers so they wind up turning to the Self Publishing option. This option has allowed for many great authors to be discovered. I’m hoping to still be one of those authors one day soon. So I don’t regret this option and I recommend it as long as one is willing to do the hard work involved.

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