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4 Facts About Self-Publishing That Might Surprise You

For many authors, self-publishing is the easiest route to go down because it provides freedom – from agents, poor royalties and to publish when and where you want. However, in many respects it isn’t the rosiest of routes; it may have its advantages but it also has its downsides too. While it may suit some authors, it won't suit all but, before you make a decision, there are 4 quite surprising facts about self-publishing that you might want to consider.

Low Sales Potential

On average, a self-published book will sell no more than 250 copies; obviously, some sell less and some sell more but it isn’t that high a number for all the effort you put into it. And bookstores don’t sell self-published books in general, either.

Fierce Competition

As each day passes, more books get published; in 2016 for example, almost 800,000 self-published authors were given an ISBN, over half a million were for print books on CreateSpace. ISBNs are not required for Kindle Publishing and there are over 5 million books on Amazon alone – that number is constantly rising as well so think about how much competition you have.

Limited Market

With so many books being published, there are not enough readers to go round! Plus book sales are sinking, especially in the US. Every year sales of print books fall and even sales of eBooks are not reaching their highs of 2013 anymore. More and more people are publishing but the numbers of readers are not going up to match.

You Have To Do It All Yourself

With a traditional publisher, most of the work is done by them although the author does have some work to do but, where self-publishing is concerned, you have to do it all. Many authors who self-publish make one glaring error – most of their efforts go into writing and they forget about the rest of the work that being an author entails. They don’t use metadata to their advantage because they know nothing about it. They don’t choose the correct Amazon categories so their book never gets found. And when it comes to enticing people to buy their books, well, that’s not easy and not everyone has the skills or tools to do it. Think of it this way – 90% of your time would be spent on marketing and only 10% on the actual writing.

The thing is, not all writers want to sell their books; for some, the act of writing alone is enough reward for them, that they can share their work with their friends and family is another. If you do decide that you want to self-publish your book though, if you do want total strangers to take you seriously and respect you, you need to consider becoming a professional publisher even if it is only for your own work. There is a great deal to learn and a lot of work needs to be done to make sure your work meets the basic standards, preferably much higher that your readers will expect. Are you ready for that?

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds