Some of the Challenges of Self Publishing

With the influence of the digital age, now more than ever the average individual has the opportunity to establish a voice. The concept and practice of self publishing is the epitome of this notion. For once, struggling authors no longer have to face rejections from publishing houses. Now instead, they have only have to face it from the consumers themselves. Self publishing involves a bit of a conundrum in which the authors who would do best in this publishing field have the smallest need to do so. For example, blog specialist Lisa Kerr writes that “The authors who have the most success selling books that have been self-published are those who have cultivated a community of readers for years.”  Basically a well established author like John Greene or Neil Gaiman could probably self publish without major difficulties. However, authors that are so well known and successful don’t always have the need to self publish.

There are other challenges that come with self publishing. Publishing strategist Holly Brady writes that distribution is the greatest difficulty for self publishers. Brady asserts that the discounts offered on self published books are not competitive enough in comparison to their externally published peers. Furthermore, self published books are harder to return because many self published authors do not have a reverse processing system. Lastly, many self published authors struggle with the act of self promotion which makes distributing the book even harder. Self published authors should never give up, but they never underestimate the task before them either.

As Brady writes, “If you’ve written your book, you’re only half-way done.”


One thought on “Some of the Challenges of Self Publishing

  1. alivalerio February 19, 2015 / 3:37 am

    I enjoyed your post, and I think it makes a lot of sense. Nowadays, there are a lot of opportunities to self-publish; it’s probably quicker and easier than ever before. However, just because the process is simple, actually promoting the work and reaching an audience with it is another story entirely. You can write the book, but how do you get people to read it? I think your quote for Lisa Kerr is absolutely key: having an established community of readers helps a ton. But there is good news with this. I’m pretty sure it’s also easier than ever before to establish a presence, an image, and a fan-base. There are so many ways; blogging, writing community sites, web publications, and more. If you already have an audience who enjoys your unpaid work, then I bet they will support you with your chance at the next level. Thanks for sharing!


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