Self-Publishing Is Now A Viable Option for Many Authors


For years self-publishing has been disregarded as substandard to traditional publishing. The assumption was that many authors chose to self-publish only after being rejected by traditional publishers. However, as self-publishing becomes more common and more accepted by readers, many are being forced to question their beliefs. Because, as this article will show, self-publishing is now a viable option for many authors.

Firstly, the self-publishing movement has become too large to be ignored. It is estimated that around 700,000 books are self-published each year in the United States. This number grew to over 1 million titles self-published in 2017. This trend is unlikely to slow down any time soon. Another important factor is that readers don’t distinguish between self-published books and traditionally published books, especially in an online retailer like Amazon. In fact, many Amazon bestsellers are from independently published authors, especially in the self-help niche. Finally, the online market is huge, with industry statistics reporting that in 2017 the value of books online and in physical format were roughly equal. This shows that the number of people willing to purchase and read e-books online is growing, meaning that the divide between traditionally published and self-published will continue to shrink. Another frequently cited reason why traditional publishing has the edge over self-publishing is the resources available to authors who chose traditional publishing. However, in this area self-publishing is also starting to reduce the gap.

Traditional publishing houses have a multitude of resources to help give their books the edge. However, many of these resources are now available to self-publishers online. For example, services offering high-quality cover images are now available online, for a very affordable price. Additional services like editing and book designing are also available online. By using these services authors can gain the same resources a traditional publishing house offers, while remaining in complete control over the book. For this reason, many readers can’t spot the difference between a high-quality self-published book and a traditionally published book. As readers usually only care about the quality of the title, not the publishing house responsible for its production and distribution, self-publishing is beginning to flourish. Finally, self-published authors can take more time to build their circle of fans and get to know their core audience, as they only need to worry about appealing to a certain sub-set of the population. However, traditional publishing houses want to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

This article has discussed some differences between traditional publishing and self-publishing to question the belief that self-publishing is inferior to traditional publishing. As we have seen the divide between traditional publishing and self-publishing is shrinking, with self-publishers now able to produce a book that is of the same quality as a traditionally published title. For this reason, self-publishing is now equally viable for authors as traditional publishing. Regardless of publisher, planning, writing and selling a book will always be a challenging process. However, now people have more freedom about how they choose to undertake this process.