Should You Self Publish Your Book?

Things to Consider Before Starting Your Own Publishing Company

A publishing professional offers a checklist to determine if entering book publishing might be a good business decision for you. 

You’ve written a great manuscript all ready for a book publishing company. You’ve heard that some authors are self-publishing their own books and you’re wondering if you should try it yourself. What elements should be present to indicate your book could be successfully self-published?

Check off all the following that apply to you and your book:

1. ___Your book will be nonfiction

Fiction makes up only a small portion of the self-published book market because it’s so tough to sell self-published novels. Nonfiction is much easier.

Added in late 2009: It is now easier to sell your self-published fiction if you do publish ebooks online.

2. ___Your book topic is needed and something people will pay money to read.

Hopefully you are an expert in the topic and you have a thorough understanding of what information is useful in your subject area.

3. ___You’ve identified your target book-buying audience niche.

A description of your book’s potential audience should be written up in detail, including actual numbers.

4. ___You know how to reach your target book-buying audience.

This is perhaps the most essential element for self-published authors. Not only must you be able to make your audience aware of your book, you must also provide them with convenient buying opportunities.

At the outset, assume that you will be selling the books by yourself. Don’t count on getting a self-published book on bookstore shelves, because it is tough to do. Marketing and sales will be your responsibility.

5. ___You are committed to creating a high-quality book.

You will provide all the elements of book publishing, hiring professionals where needed to insure a fine product. Amateur efforts are not good enough.

6. ___You understand that you are creating your own company to self-publish your book.

You are not paying another so-called publishing company to publish your book—the latter indicates a vanity or book publishing scam.

7. ___You will give a great deal of time to your book publishing company.

First, by investing time educating yourself thoroughly about the self-publishing book business. Then, by taking the time necessary to create a quality product. Finally, by regularly and diligently dedicating time to marketing and sales.

8. ___You’ve researched the other similar books in print.

Your book should be comparable, if not superior to others.

The mere presence of competing books should not be a deterrent. Being able to identify, reach and provide sales opportunities to your target audience is more important.

* * * * * *

How did you rate?

The results of this checklist will help you decide about self-publishing your book.

Obviously, you should have checked every item, above. Even so, starting your own book publishing company to self-publish your book should be considered carefully. Like any other business decision, you should not go into it without having strong indicators that your investment of time and money will be worthwhile.

Copyright 2007 by Barbara Doyen. All rights reserved.

Related reading:

What is Book Publishing?

What Is Self Publishing?

Trade Publish or Self Publish?

Book Publishing Scams and Writer, Beware!

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