What is Self-Publishing?
Currently, self-publishing is accounting for just a minimal percentage of the entire publishing industry (with respect to sales). However, it is fast becoming more popular as an option for numerous book and content authors. Because the publishing industry is obviously changing its landscape, it is expected that more and more authors would prefer to self publish in the future.
Self-publishing is not an entirely new practice. In fact, it has been around, though in different forms, ever since the start of the publishing history. These days, self-publishing is logically increasing amid further advancement of the modern-age publishing technology. With the emergence of desktop publishing systems, xerography, the Internet, and print on demand, self-publishing is becoming a clear phenomenon in the changing publishing industry.
Observers note that the practice is getting more attention these days. This could be attributed in part by the emergence of different cultural phenomena, like proliferation of various media channels, emergence of the DIY movement, and of course the very popular blogging. Now, anyone could opt to self-publish.
What makes self-publishing a very attractive option and prospect among authors? In the practice, the absence of traditional publishers serves as a key distinguishing characteristic. The author decides to fulfill the role instead. Because of that, he is able to take full control over the editorial content. He assumes key roles like arranging for printing, massive marketing, and distributing the printed outputs. It could be a tedious job but there could be overall fulfillment in terms of quality and revenues.
Without the third-party publishers, self-publishing authors are directly involved to the risks and detriments of publishing. People may not be fully aware of it, but publishing is a really tedious and challenging activity. Third-party publishers have editors that approve content of authors’ works. They decide whether a material is fit for publishing or not. Of course, editors would give a go-signal to content that has the potential to create a patronizing impression among book readers. They only approve for printing materials that they think would be commercially viable.
Without such editors, authors would be at risk. Some authors do not have the grasp to know which type of content would appeal to the commercial market. On the plus side, absence of third-party publishers’ editors could prompt authors to go on and stick to their creativity and originality. Many authors like the prospect of having a book published as they have written it, without any minor and major revisions.
Are authors bound to make more money through self-publishing? It would depend. In many cases, self-publishing authors incur losses because they take care of all the financial aspects of printing, releasing, marketing, and distributing a book. If the book does not sell well, the self-publishing author would be in trouble. However, if the book makes it big time (make it big commercially), the author is up for hefty income. It could be a big and strategic risk to get into self publishing.