I blame today’s posting tardiness on the time change. Sigh…
Okay, I know there’s been a lot going around the web lately about this topic, especially since the news of Amanda Hocking went viral. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot so I figured I’d write a post.
The publishing landscape is rapidly changing. I mean really fast. When I first started writing with an eye toward publishing back in January 2009, there wasn’t much talk of e-books at all. Today e-book sales are estimated to make up 20-30% of book sales. That’s a pretty drastic change within the span of two years. Who knows where we’ll be in another two?
Even when I started looking into e-publishing as a viable option, I didn’t think much about self-publishing. After all, e-publishers were offering pretty decent royalty rates at 30-40%, and they have a lot of other things they can provide, namely:
- Marketing to draw readers to their website (where they’ll hopefully spot your book)
- An established customer base
- Cover Art (some e-pubs better than others)
- Editing Services
But I’ve been thinking more and more about self-publishing. After all, if you publish with Amazon you get to keep 70% of profits. That’s almost, or in some cases more, than twice what you’ll get with an e-publisher. True, that means cover art, marketing and editing is left to the author, but many of these services can be provided by freelance experts with some upfront expense. Here are some ballpark figures I picked up:
- Cover Art: $40 (for the really basic stuff) – $400+
- Editing by a Professional: $400+
Now that’s no small amount of money. It’s an investment into a venture that might not recoup the expenses. But there’s the possibility of getting much more.
So if cover art and editing can be purchased freelance, what this leaves is the established customer base an e-publisher can provide. In some cases that will be enough to make the difference between choosing an e-pub or going it alone. But for others (case in point: Hocking), self-publishing will be worth the risk.
Today I’d like to pose this question to you: How do you feel about self-publishing? Do you purchase self-published books? If you don’t, would you consider doing so if the premise of the story sounded interesting?