In the past, non-fiction authors had limited options when it came to getting their work published. They typically had to submit their manuscript to a traditional publishing house and hope that it would be accepted. However, with the rise of self-publishing and print-on-demand services, there is now a better option available for non-fiction authors. In this article, we will explore why non-fiction authors should avoid paying a publisher and why self-publishing is now a better option.
First, let's discuss the issue of paying a publisher. Traditional publishing houses require authors to go through a rigorous submission process and, if accepted, sign a contract that often includes an advance against future royalties. The publisher then takes on the responsibility of editing, designing, and marketing the book. While this can be a tempting option for some authors, it is important to remember that publishers are businesses, and they are looking to make a profit. This means that they may not always have the author's best interests in mind and may prioritize their own financial gain over the success of the book.
In addition to the financial considerations, traditional publishing also comes with limitations in terms of creative control. Publishers often require authors to conform to certain standards and may request changes that do not align with the author's vision for the book. This can be frustrating for authors who want to maintain control over their work and may compromise the quality of the final product.
On the other hand, self-publishing provides non-fiction authors with greater creative control and more opportunities for success. With print-on-demand services, authors can easily and affordably print their books as needed, avoiding the need for a large upfront investment. Additionally, self-publishing provides greater flexibility in terms of design and layout, allowing authors to create a book that reflects their unique style and vision.
Self-publishing has become a popular option for authors who want to take control of the publishing process and retain more creative and financial control over their work. One of the biggest advantages of self-publishing is the ability to have complete creative control over the book, including the cover design, formatting, and content. With traditional publishing, the author may have little say in how their book is marketed, packaged, and distributed. Self-publishing also allows authors to publish their work more quickly, without the lengthy process of finding an agent, securing a publishing deal, and waiting for the book to be released.
Another advantage of self-publishing is the potential for higher royalties. When working with a traditional publishing company, the author typically receives a percentage of the sales revenue in the form of a royalty, which can be as low as 10% or less. In contrast, self-publishing allows authors to keep a larger percentage of the profits, typically between 35% and 70% depending on the platform used. This can lead to a significantly higher income for the author, especially if the book becomes popular and generates a large volume of sales. Additionally, self-publishing allows for more direct communication with readers and the ability to build a loyal fan base, which can be invaluable for marketing future books.
It's easier now, too, as there are a variety of companies that offer a wide range of support services that can help authors throughout the publishing process. These services include editing, cover design, formatting, and marketing, among others. There are numerous online platforms that provide self-publishing tools and services, making it easy for authors to navigate the publishing process without having to pay a publisher.
I recommend, non-fiction authors avoid paying a publisher and consider self-publishing as a better option. Self-publishing allows for greater creative control, eliminates financial risks, and offers a range of support services to help authors succeed. With print-on-demand technology and the rise of self-publishing platforms, it has never been easier for non-fiction authors to get their work out into the world.
There are many resources available to non-fiction authors who want to learn more about self-publishing tools, and related third-party services. Here are some suggestions:
- Self-Publishing School (https://self-publishingschool.com/): This online school offers a range of courses, coaching, and tools to help authors self-publish their work. They provide instruction on everything from book planning and writing to publishing and marketing.
- Book Launchers (https://booklaunchers.com/) offers a personalized approach to self-publishing, working closely with each author to understand their goals and vision for their book. Services provided by Book Launchers include book editing, cover design, formatting, and marketing. The company also offers author coaching and strategic planning to help authors create a cohesive and effective book launch plan.
- Reedsy (https://reedsy.com/): This platform offers access to a range of professional editors, designers, and marketers who can help authors produce a high-quality book. Reedsy also provides a book formatting tool and marketing resources.
- KDP University (https://kdp.amazon.com/): KDP University is a resource provided by Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing platform. It offers a range of courses, guides, and webinars to help authors navigate the self-publishing process.
- Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/): Smashwords is an e-book distribution platform that offers access to a range of publishing tools and resources. They also offer a free style guide and book formatting tool to help authors produce a professional-looking e-book.
- The Creative Penn (https://www.thecreativepenn.com/): This website offers a range of resources and tools for self-publishing authors, including courses, podcasts, and a directory of third-party services.
- Draft2Digital (https://www.draft2digital.com/): Draft2Digital is a self-publishing platform that provides access to distribution, formatting, and marketing services. They offer a range of resources and tools to help authors produce a professional-looking book.
For somewhat more of a do-it-yourself person, here are a list of companies who will assist you down the path, without necessarily doing everything:
- Book Launchers (https://booklaunchers.com/)
- Scribe Writing (https://scribewriting.com/)
- Reedsy (https://reedsy.com/)
- Archangel Ink (https://archangelink.com/)
- Self-Publishing School (https://self-publishingschool.com/)
- Happy Self Publishing (https://www.happyselfpublishing.com/)
- Polgarus Studio (https://polgarusstudio.com/)
- Write Now Coach (https://writenowcoach.com/)
- BookBaby (https://www.bookbaby.com/)
- Gatekeeper Press (https://gatekeeperpress.com/)