If you’re someone like me and want to have greater control over your creative works, a larger percentage of their profits, and just generally distrust or dislike traditional publishers, you’ve likely considered self publishing. Maybe you’re considering it right now. That said, there’s always a downside to any decision in life, especially ones that significantly impact your career like self-publishing. Here are a few of the common issues you’ll have to face if you go down that route!
Financial Support is Lacking
The cold hard truth of the matter is that traditional publishers have money and you, likely, do not. A publishing house has resources that just aren’t available to you and me, unless you have a wide range of connections. This includes editing, designing, creating a layout, and marketing support. These all require a lot of capital and so you might end up having to tackle each individual part slowly over time. I recommend getting good at editing, finding friends to help you read your work, networking with artists (even branching outside traditional circles to outside sources, like the anime artist communities), and other solutions to combat these problems.
Creating an Audience
This ties into the point above, considering its a form of marketing, but a publishing house has an audience of a sort. People know certain publishers to be reliable, having published exceptional works in the past and having several great authors under their belt. That gives your name weight, connections to readers and distributors (assuming people still go to the book store). As a self-publisher you have none of this and have to create it from the ground up. I recommend social media – a lot of it. Grow an audience, be engaging, create a blog, and word of mouth like its your day job. As a self-publishing author it practically is!
Copyright Laws and Issues
Here’s one I never considered when starting my, admittedly, large list of projects. Copyright laws are something that can sneak up on you without you even noticing it, and if you end up breaking one it can derail or ruin your career. Traditional publishers have teams of lawyers looking out for the company’s best interests, and thus your own. You need to be smart starting out. Get a copyright on everything you right, as soon as you write and finish it. If you get a copyright, you’re much more protected than you were otherwise.
These are just three of the many, many, issues that might be encountered while self-publishing. There’s a lot of fires you’ll have to put out, a lot of issues you’ll have to tackle, but they can all be worth it in the end if you do it right and proceed with caution. If you liked this little post, please check out the others! Also, like, comment, and follow to read more when I – inevitably – get around to it!