Have you got a brilliant idea for a book? One of the best, quickest and easiest ways to publish these days is to DIY it. Self-publishing is nothing new – authors including Jane Austen, Martin Luther, Marcel Proust and Virginia Woolf have all done it – but the internet makes it a lot easier.
Self-publishing is not only for novels/fiction – it’s also a great option for business books. Writing a book helps establish your credentials and builds your brand. Scott Cooper, from GO1.com, an eLearning expert, recently published his first book on Amazon, A Guide To Better eLearning. Scott has found the experience very rewarding:
“Self-publishing has been a great way to quickly produce an informative guide for readers in an industry that is evolving at a rapid pace. It’s allowed me to drive the direction myself, and enhance my authority within a community that I’ve been building over the past few years. Doing this via a traditional publisher would have taken much longer and may still not have increased my audience.”
There’s a range of publishing services out there, so if you’re too busy to learn formatting or your punctuation isn’t flawless, you can pick and choose what you need, from ghostwriting and editing to cover design and marketing.
Some of the advantages of self-publishing include:
- Minimal upfront cost or risk: technologies such as print-on-demand and ebooks mean you don’t have to pay to print thousands of copies in advance, and then face a humiliating unsold book pulping session (like Alan Partridge).
- Faster speed, more control, higher royalties: with self-publishing, you get 100% say over your cover design and title. You’ll also get 70% royalties from Amazon Kindle sales rather than the minimal slice that a traditional publisher would grant you.
- Crystallise your thoughts: the process of researching and writing and publishing your book increases your own knowledge and skills, even if you’re already an expert in your field. The marketing process can be a great networking opportunity.
Even the “big” traditional publishers no longer shun self-published authors: instead, they actively prefer them. Someone with a proven track record of writing books, getting reviews and readers, and having an existing mailing list to promote to is a far safer commercial option than a complete unknown.