Why self-publish?

Authors choose to self-publish for many different reasons. Some have tried to have their book published through a traditional publishing house; others have not. But self-publishing authors all have one goal in common: to get their book out into the world.

Here are 9 good reasons for self-publishing:

1. Traditional publishers take too long
We’ve all heard about authors who received rejections from publishers for years before finally getting a book published. And we know that publishing houses receive thousands of manuscripts a year and may only choose a dozen or so. This may prompt you to consider self-publishing, as your book could be ready for market within three or four months.

2. Testing the market
Suppose you’ve just written your first book. Will it sell? Will it be successful? Many first-time authors choose to self-publish using digital printing. You can start with 20 books or 200 books and test your market. Sometimes self-published books get picked up by publishers.

3. A limited market
Your book may appeal to a limited market (Intricacies of Microscopic Widgets) and therefore not be of interest to a large publishing house. However, your book may be very successful within your limited market. In this case, digital printing or print-on-demand publishing (POD) may be perfect for you.

4. Time-sensitive books
Some books are time-sensitive—political, ecological, medical—and for whatever reason need to be out there now while the buzz is happening.

5. Helping your career
By self-publishing a book within your field of work, you become an authority within your area of expertise. This can lead to other career opportunities. Perhaps your book is about a product or service, which can lead to new sales opportunities.

6. Course materials
Publish your course materials. They’ll look professional, and you can include them in the cost of your course and sell them to the public.

7. Helping others
Sometimes authors whose books are about health issues or spiritual or personal growth will choose to self-publish so their book will be available to help others. They feel that with each book sold, someone is receiving a benefit, and their book is serving its purpose no matter how many or few are sold.

8. Leaving a legacy
Each of us has a unique life story to tell, complete with ordinary incidents, moments of brilliance, tragedy and humor. Your personal history is as individual as you are, and can be an invaluable source of family memories to pass along to your close relatives, friends and descendants. A short-run printing of your memoirs will become a cherished family heirloom.

9. Your book—the way you want it
Some authors choose to self-publish so they can be involved in the whole creative process, and have their book turn out exactly as they choose. Self-publishing authors have final say in all decisions about editing, proofreading and book design.


Whatever your reasons for self-publishing, make sure you enjoy the process by choosing people to work with who share your vision for your book.