In my post “Five Reasons a Writer Should Self-Publish,” I listed several advantages of self-publishing. Although compelling, there are also downsides. Let’s also look at the downsides of self-publishing.
Consider These Six Downsides of Self-Publishing:
1. Quality is Often Lacking
Traditional publishers put their books through several rounds of editing to produce the best possible product. The temptation of self-publishing is to skip these steps. Even if a professional editor is hired, the chance of them catching everything a traditional publisher would in their multiple rounds of review is slim.
But too often, authors self-edit or tap a friend who, although well-intended, lacks the needed experience. From a production standpoint, there’s no reason for substandard output anymore. But it’s too easy and too tempting to cut corners.
2. Credibility May Be Illusive
Although self-publishing no longer carries the stigma it once did, some people still consider it a second-rate option.
3. Self-Promotion Is Required
Self-published authors are responsible for their own marketing, promotion, and sales. No one else will do it for you.
[bctt tweet=”Self-published authors (indie authors) must be entrepreneurs if they hope to be successful.” username=”Peter_DeHaan”]
4. The Author Must Become an Entrepreneur
Self-publishing is a business, requiring an investment of time, effort, and money—all with no promise of a return. It’s risky, and you could lose money.
5. Limited Distribution
Although some distribution options are available, they don’t match the reach of a traditional publisher. Don’t plan on your book is in bookstores.
6. No Advances
Self-publishers must shell out money to publish; advances are not part of the equation. You must spend money ahead of time and then hope to earn it back later and make a profit.
These are the six downsides of self-publishing. Consider them carefully and if you opt to go this route, be sure to avoid them.