Printing and digital technology have given broader access to knowledge. Earlier it was difficult to print and sell books without the help of traditional publishing houses. Major publishing houses are more selective in accepting the works for publication. It shrinks the opportunities for authors who would like to publish through famous publishing houses. Advancements in printing and computer technology have made the publishing industry more accessible to ordinary people. Now anyone can publish a book and make it available worldwide if the author owns a computer with an Internet connection. The self-publishing sector offers more possibilities for writers to publish books using cutting edge technologies.
What is Self-publishing
Self-publishing is the publication of an author’s work without the help of any publishing house. The author takes full responsibility for the publishing process, and they print and sell it on their own or with the help of self-publishing service providers. The author has the freedom to make independent decisions. The author will have complete control over the manuscript selection, processing, printing, marketing and distribution of the book.
Various Approaches in Self-publishing
Book publishing involves several processes. A book undergoes various phases like manuscript preparation, expert review, proofreading, layout, design, printing, pricing, marketing, and sales before it reaches the reader’s hand. The author can choose and apply custom methods at each stage of publishing, for convenience. Let us get acquainted with the various approaches to self-publishing.
An author can make available the e-book on the Internet and it can be made convenient for the readers to access the same. PDF and EPUB are the popular formats used for publishing e-books. PDF and E-Pub formats are easy to use with a computer, mobile phone and e-book reading device. E-books are ideal for publishing with or without price. Authors need not bear the printing expenses. It is common in the Academic and research circles to publish with copyleft for wider access. If the author expects monetary benefits, he can place the book for online selling services like Amazon. Online booksellers offer higher rewards to authors (up to 70%) than traditional publishing houses.
With the support of modern printing technology, it is possible to publish paperback editions at a minimal cost. Print-on-demand is one of the most popular distribution methods in self-publishing. Here, the copy of the book will be printed only when the order is placed by the customers instead of printing books in anticipation of sales. If the order for one copy of a book is received, then only one copy will be printed. Unlike the regular offset printing machine, specific machines are used for print-on-demand service. The advantage of the print-on-demand method is that the author need not have to spend money in advance to print the copies of the book.
Merits and Demerits
The main advantage of self-publishing is that there is no need, for the author, to depend on a publisher for the whole publishing processes. For authors, self-publishing is a practical way to publish a book, within a short period of time, that too done under the full control of the author. The author himself can select the best professionals in the field, for the expert review. Traditional publishers are very selective and only accept works based on their priorities. The self-publishing industry makes use of innovative technologies for the publishing processes. Works in local languages can be published without delay. E-book and print editions can be made available simultaneously. It is convenient to add accessible features in e-books for the differently-abled people, such as having visual and print disabilities. Self-publishing allows you to publish books globally, and readers can access copies from anywhere in the world.
Let us check the inconveniences with the self-publishing method. The author must bear the cost of publishing if he cannot manage the processes alone. The pricing of print-on-demand copies is a little higher than the conventional print copies. Only computer-sawy authors can manage various stages of self-publishing. Otherwise, the author has to depend on others to finish data entry, layout and design. The marketing and promotion of the book can be difficult if the author is not well-known among the specific reader’s community. There is a general perception that books are self-published without expert examination.
The author experiences complete freedom and control at all stages of self-publishing. Every stage of self-publishing is executed with the help of technology. Self-publishing can help to overcome many of the drawbacks in traditional publishing. If the author can manage the tasks of self-publishing alone, he will be able to deliver the book to the reader in a cost-effective manner.