I thought this might be a useful post for some of you who may have not taken the step or journey into the publishing world yet, or even maybe for those who have. I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons. Honestly, I don’t think Indie is the end all be all. There are so many paths, and there can be a right and wrong for you, that may be different for others. God has a separate path for each of us and I wish you the best on whatever one that is. So let’s get into it! Here is my list of pros and cons.
Independent Publishing PROS:
~ Utter control over everything. What gets printed, what my cover is, what my formatting looks like, how much I sell it for, etc. But probably the biggest thing for control that is the most important to me is that I have control over the story, the content, etc. No one can tell me to take out a Christian theme, or shoehorn an agenda into my story.
~ NO edits you don’t agree with. You have the overall say. So if someone tells you you should cut out a character and you don’t agree? You get overall say. I’m not saying you shouldn’t give some serious thought to constructive criticism, but you get the final say. Which is super important to me.
~ Christianity isn’t edited out. Enough said. This is probably my biggest fear with traditional publishing, even if it’s an irrational one. 😀
~ Royalty can possibly be larger. Because you have the rights to your book and you aren’t paying anyone else cuts (except amazon), you get the majority of the royalties.
~ No upfront print costs. There are costs, so many, so don’t get me wrong on that point. But if you do print on demand, you don’t have to pay the huge publishing fee. Most publishing houses, to be worth it, need to be paid hug amounts in advance because they aren’t just going to print one copy. While, if you went this route, the wholesale cost might be somewhat cheaper per unit, none of us has that kind of cash lying around. Print on demand eliminates that cost.
~ Price control. You can control how much your book costs. You can lower it for prices without jumping through too many hoops, and there are even ways to make your kindle books free if you choose.
~ Do your own marketing. You can be in charge of how that works and your venues etc. This one is also a con for me, but you can see that when you keep reading.
Independent Publishing Cons:
~ Limited Audience for starters. Once you branch out, (which I haven’t yet) this can be a problem. With Indie publishing, while there can be an incredibly supportive group, it is also limited to certain demographics. I haven’t really been able to reach beyond the conservative Christian homeschool audience. Which is great, but I need more people than that to read my book for marketing purposes. 😀
~ You have to make connections on your own. While this can be true for Traditional Publishing as well, there are more resources at your fingertips when you get published by a publisher. Other authors in that Publishing House can rally around you for support, you can make connections to other publishers, etc.
~ Marketing Limitations. Because you do it on your own, you have to do it on your own. There’s just no way around it. Traditional Publishing will still make you do your marketing in most cases, but I had to learn from the ground up with no idea what I was doing. Thank the Lord for helpful people and authors I can follow, but it’s a long row to hoe and there’s so much I don’t know. Limits. I hate them right now.
~ Do your own marketing. Mentioned above as well.
~ You build your own following. You have to find your own ARC readers, your own reviewers, your own blog tour people etc. Publishers will often offer programs for their authors to offer them these perks. I have to do that all myself.
Well, that’s all I have so far. I’m sure I’ll think of more in the future, but that’s all I have for now. What about you? What are some pros and cons you have or know of?
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