If you have an idea for a story you want to tell, or you’re looking to share your life story, or even write a guide for a niche subject or hobby, then online self publishing could be a good solution. It’s hard to get picked up by a traditional publisher these days. The world of writing is incredibly competitive and many publishers are struggling with falling sales and rising overheads. Piracy is making it hard for content creators to make money, and there is little incentive for people to buy paper books.
When you write a book online, you cut out a lot of the overheads and you can save a lot of time and money. You can write the book yourself at home on your PC or laptop, and do the layout you want without the constraints of color or size requirements as you might face with a traditional publisher. You can make an ebook or a digital download pretty easily, and alter it as you work so that you can release new editions when you decide that you want to make improvements, or if reader suggestions or corrections come in.
Many online publishers offer a print on demand option too, so you can write a book online and offer it for sale as both a digital download and as a paper copy. The paper copies are made using a print on demand process, so the publisher deals with fewer overheads – no printing copies that won’t sell, no stressing about sale or return to book stores, worrying about storage, or worrying about printing copies and then adding supplemental corrections later.
With online self publishing, you are in control of the process. You aren’t answering to an editor that may nor may not understand your creative vision. You don’t have to worry about dealing with someone that will push you to meet deadlines that could hamper the creative process. You won’t have to compromise on the blurb or the cover images. You can do what you want, how you want it, and to the schedule that you set.
Marketing your new book may be difficult, depending on the audience that you are trying to reach. This is one area where some people do appreciate having a helping hand from their publisher. If you’re considering using an online publisher, then look for one that has support packages including marketing, online listing for new titles (ideally some way of getting onto sites such as Amazon), and other promotional help.
Writing online isn’t for everyone. You need to be a self-starter, and you need to be willing to put in a lot of effort with revisions, proofreading, and refining your work. If you’ve started and abandoned many titles, then maybe going it alone isn’t for you at this stage and the watchful eye of an editorial team could benefit you. For those who can finish the job, though, the freedom of being your own editor can be liberating.