What is self-publishing? How is it different than a hybrid publisher?
As a first time author one of the common considerations that you may need to make is whether or not you should pursue self-publishing. We mention self-publishing briefly in this blog post that explains hybrid publishing. self-publishing is essentially the opposite of a traditional publishing model. As the name implies, self-publishing is where you, the author, take on or outsource everything that goes into publishing your book.
Let’s cover the pros and cons of self-publishing
Pros of self-publishing
- Author keeps all of the profits for books they sell direct to their readers. If you are selling your book to a client, an organization or to a conference you are speaking at, then you keep 100% of the profits because you are selling directly to them.
- Author keeps a significantly greater portion of the profits from sales made to online retailers and bookstores. Since you aren’t working with a publishing company, the retailer is the only one taking a percentage of the profits
- Author oversees every decision that is made. You are the one that has the final say on any decisions that are made to your book. Whether it’s how you want the cover to look or the title itself, you have the final say.
- Complete ownership of the book. You are the sole copyright holder of your book and are able to make empowered decisions that are in your best interest.
Cons of self-publishing
- Author pays all of the upfront costs (editing, design, marketing, etc.) You are solely responsible for hiring the right types of editors, the typesetter to lay out the interior of your book, and coordinating the printing and distribution of your book.
- Careful consideration of who edits your book. Unless you are a trained editor do not attempt to self-edit your book. The biggest turn off to a reader about a self-published book is lack of proper editing and grammatical mistakes. Additionally, every book should have multiple editorial eyes in the process and you need to understand which editor to hire at which phase of the process. Make sure to vet who you are hiring; they might charge top dollar for their work that turns out to be below average and you won’t know until it’s too late and you are out money.
- Careful consideration of who designs your book. Unless you are a trained graphic designer who specializes in book covers or a typesetter that specializes in the interior of books, you should not try this at home. Every component of a book’s design and layout should have a strategic intention behind this. If you are unsure how to execute this, you must hire the right type of help. Be sure to properly vet the right resources with the right skillset to help you get the job done.
- Author lacks brand recognition with booksellers. If you want to distribute your book in retail stores, you need to build a relationship with a distributor who can help your book be accessible to all book sellers both online and offline. A lack of strong relationship and partnership will negatively impact your sales potential.
- Author must do the leg work with marketing and contacting retailers. You are your own marketing person and must build healthy relationships with retailers (online and offline) in order for them to sell your book in their stores. You must have a strategic marketing plan that will help you identify exactly how you are going to do this, so you don’t waste time, money and resources on things you don’t need. You will need to know where to invest any marketing dollars you’ve set aside. There are many service providers available to authors who are very scammy and predatory. Please be cautious when reviewing marketing providers and always get a referral.
- Author often pays a higher price for printing costs. Since many self-published authors aren’t buying large orders of their books, the costs tend to be higher than if you work with a publishing company, who has access to keep costs a bit lower.
Differences between self and hybrid publishing
There are a couple of significant differences between self-publishing and hybrid publishing, that we will share here.
- When you self-publish you only have yourself to rely on. This may seem obvious but it does impact how effectively you are able to market and sell your book. With the support of a publishing company, they are there to help guide you through the process and handle the majority of the legwork for you.
- A publishing company has professionals that they trust and work with on a regular basis. These people are experts in the publishing field. From editors to typesetters and graphic designers to project managers. The company will have an established team of trusted people who will help bring your book to fruition. When you are self-publishing, you can spend endless hours agonizing over who to hire. Even when you do, you aren’t 100% you made the right decision.
- The biggest benefit to self-publishing is that you retain most if not all of your book’s royalties. With a hybrid publisher royalties can be as little as 0% but as high as 90%. We’ve seen that the average is around 50%.
- With self-publishing you are in control of all of your financial decisions. This may be good or bad depending on what you are looking for. With a hybrid publisher you are paying them a set fee that covers a range of services. The benefit is that you don’t have to worry about paying dozens of individual vendors for the work you are producing. You pay the hybrid publisher their one fee and they assemble the team needed to make your book stand out.
Download Our Book Cost Blueprint
Since we know understanding the costs associated with self-publishing can be overwhelming, we have created the Book Cost Blueprint, which highlights each major area of support you need to get your book published and a price range you should expect to pay for each. You can download it by clicking here: click here.
How can Publish Your Purpose Press help with self-publishing?
Publish Your Purpose Press (PYP) is a firm believer that any author can self-publish as long as they adhere to industry best practices, especially around editing and cover design. PYP offers a wide range of services and resources that help guide you through the publishing process.
Our signature program, the PYP academy is a 14 week program that covers everything you need to know in order to self-publish your book the right way. Jenn T. Grace, the Founder and CEO of PYP, personally teaches you and a group of students every aspect that goes into a book from envisioning, writing, editing, publishing and marketing.
In the PYP Academy, there are weekly assignments and videos that detail how to tackle each step in the publishing process. You are also with a group of people each going through the same tasks as you. Each of you garnering support and inspiration from one another. Weekly meetings are held via Zoom to help foster a more intimate environment to talk openly about the process of completing your book.
To learn more how the PYP Academy can transform your self-publishing experience, please click here.
Additionally, the Publish Your Purpose: An Author’s Journey podcast details one author’s experience of going through the PYP Academy in real time. The author, Mark David Gibson, ultimately moved on to publishing his book with PYP and became a best seller in his category.
Jenn T. Grace and PYP Author and Academy graduate, Mark David Gibson, talk about what Mark’s experience is like going through the academy in real time. The podcast can be found here.
PYP has dozens of resources available to help you. Get one step closer to getting your book published. You’ll find tips from our CEO, Jenn T. Grace, Q&As with our published authors, interviews with editors and other industry professionals—all with the intention to help make this process easier for you! Click here to see the resources available to you.
At PYP we believe everyone should have access to a positive publishing experience. We know this is not always the case with other publishing houses. Our goal is providing top quality service to you and an amazing experience for the readers of your book.
To schedule your call with the PYP Team so we can learn about your book and advise you on the next steps, please contact us today!