These Were The Reasons I Chose To Self Publish My First Book
Discovering the best road to take when it comes to publishing can seem overwhelming, but it's an important decision that needs to align with our personal and professional objectives.
In regards to traditional publishing, typically an author finds an agent, writes a proposal, and together they submit it to publishers. After an abundance of rejection, the persistence pays off and they get a deal (assuming the book is a solid idea).
So, what are the benefits of working with a traditional publisher? From my research, I found the two main benefits are the brick and mortar distribution and the editing. When it comes to marketing, the publishers are now leaning on the authors to take care of establishing and growing a platform. Sometimes, they'll help financially if the book is important enough to them.
My goal with Path Of The Freelancer was to publish as a way to establish credibility, authority and help other freelancers who wanted to excel. I did not seek out to sell a bunch of books.
If I went down the road of getting a traditional publisher, it's possible I wouldn't have a published book by now. If I did get a deal, I would have spent an enormous amount of time pursuing a traditional publisher.
I wanted the control to ensure I could write and publish the book. Since I could create the website and marketing, and edit the book fairly well, I decided the only piece I couldn't do was get the book distributed into physical locations.
Because of my goals, I didn't need this. In my conversation with a friend at Random House, we concluded my best course of action was to self-publish, since it would be faster to get the book out there, build the brand, sell some books and then if I wanted to pursue a traditional publisher (or they wanted to pursue me) I'd have more leverage to pursue a deal.
The challenge for me is that I freelance full-time, so I've got limited time and resources to promote the book. I've sold about sixty books so far, so it's definitely a difficult task. It'll take some good exposure and several years, I suspect, to get substantial traction. Thankfully, I'm not in a hurry.
The other piece of the puzzle for me is that this book is a stepping stone into a financially sustainable writing career. I want to land at screenwriting films and the book is a step in that direction. When it comes to success in writing, it usually comes after several years of doing multiple projects. When success hits, people want to read everything a writer has done and if they've got a library waiting, they'll be able to maximize the opportunity.
Ultimately, it comes down to goals for the book and how it plays into the overall strategy. For my context, self-publishing was the best approach I could take.