Although it is considered as the answer to the problems authors have been dealing with for decades, self-publishing is still a pretty bumpy road. One reason for this is the widely held myths about self-publishing. There are strong claims about the process and the product – which is the book- that mislead authors and repulse readers.
To ease the road of self-publishing, these myths have to be destroyed. And this blog is intended to do so.
1st Myth: Self-publishing creates an unprofessional-looking book
No one can argue that an author, if not careful, could end up with a book with missing features and questionable quality. But to say that self-published books are unprofessional is a generalization without a supporting logic.
Professional editors, proofreaders, designers, and illustrators who have work experience in the big traditional publishing companies offer their services through specialized freelance websites like Reedsy and Independent Editors Group. Also, authors can depend on publishing consultants, not to mention the hundreds of online resources to learn about the smallest detail.
2nd Myth: Self-publishing is a synonym for DIY/ doesn’t cost money
Holding on to this claim can be harmful to the author’s book and career. Publishing is a multiple step process. To get it right, an author makes an investment of time and money.
So, along the way, you participate in every step, whether by doing the work yourself or by supervising. Still, deciding what steps you can do yourself, and what steps you should hire a professional to do is one of the most beneficial decisions for your book. Also, one of the costs you should have in mind is the cost of buying your own ISBN.
3rd Myth: Self-publishing is a choice for authors whose manuscripts are not good enough
This is the most used claim by opponents of self-publishing. It goes like this: “self-published authors haven’t worked enough on their manuscripts and that’s why they couldn’t get a deal with a traditional publisher.” This point indicates that self-publishing is only a second choice for those who can’t make it.
That’s not true. Traditional publishers have failed to notice many great books and authors, and self-publishing fixed the damage. Lisa Genova’s Still Alice, among others, wouldn’t have reached the readers if it wasn’t for self-publishing.
4th Myth: Self-publishing is a scam
Vanity publishing services have robbed many authors of their money, owned the rights of their books and didn’t care about the quality of publishing. Vanity publishers make their profit out of your pocket, not by selling your book.
But self-publishing shouldn’t be confused to be vanity publishing. Self-publishing is actually the way to publish without being scammed. You get to keep your rights. And you decide what and who you should pay your money for. You control the quality of your book and the distribution channels.
5th myth: Self-publishing is for everyone
The rage of some people defending traditional publishing and tearing down self-publishing with all different accusations is understandable. Self-publishing is preached through like a new religion through hundreds of blogs, YouTube channels, and Podcasts. You may say this blog does it too.
But here is the truth, self-publishing is like creating your own company where you wear all different kinds of hats. If you think self-publishing is not for you, so it’s not.
In conclusion, there is no smoke without fire. Myths are there because they have an origin. But they shouldn’t be dealt with as the only truth. If writing is a career for you, don’t limit your options.