Self-publishing used to be a last resort, but now it has become a lucrative and respected alternative to traditional publishing. It is especially attractive to authors seeking commercial gain and liberation from unfair publishing contracts, or writers penning niche indie fiction.
Self-published authors can make a lot of money. Think about it – whereas a traditional publisher only pays authors between 5% and 15% in royalties, a self-published writer can receive between 50% and 100% of the profit, depending on their distribution agreements. While there is an initial investment involved, all businesses need to invest in order to gain more profit. It is the same with publishing. Many see the costs of self-publishing as a down-payment that will enable them to earn more in the long run. It can be scary, but it is worth the investment!
Authors of niche books are more likely to be rejected by mainstream publishers. This is because they need to cater for existing markets and are often vary of taking chances – even if the book is an amazing piece of fiction! They simply don’t have the resources to take the risk.
Profit isn’t Everything
We often encounter authors who want to publish a niche book. It can be a personal memoir, or a local history of their village – or even a cowboy romance novel set in outer space! These are often well written and interesting but not suitable for the mainstream book market. At the end of the day, a large traditional publisher has to ask themselves whether the product (your book) will make a profit. While this may seem cynical, it is an understandable reality.
When self-publishing, this is not an issue. You, the author, make all the decisions. If you want to write about your village, do it! If you have your pen set on outer space duelling matches, that’s also fine! To many writers, profit is not the most important goal. Perhaps you simply want your friends and family to read your work – beautifully bound, with a professionally designed cover and perfect typeset pages – or you just want to see your name in print and feel that warm fuzzy sensation of being a published author? Self-publishing can help you realise this dream!
Equally, if you do want to make a profit, there is nothing holding you back from this. Many alternative books that were rejected by publishers have gone on to become bestsellers. Think of the Harry Potter series, which was rejected multiple times on the ground of it being too strange…
Have faith in your prospects. If you put in the work and market your book right, there is no reason why it should not become a success. “Alternative” fiction is often a fresh breath of air waiting to become the new mainstream.