October 30, 2023
While self publishing is truly a journey, many authors find out it contains many self publishing surprises. For many writers, once the hard work of creating, editing, formatting, and printing their self-published book is finished, the one result they expect is becoming a published author.
When the boxes of books arrive, a writer could reasonably say that they have accomplished their goal of authoring a book and feel satisfaction with the outcome of all of their efforts. But as a newly minted author, you will find that 10 self publishing surprises will also show up along with your freshly printed books.
Writers can choose to pursue working with a publishing company or to publish their book themselves, but many writers who choose to go the traditional publishing route cite the benefits of a company taking care of all of the details required to launch a successful book.
But many authors love the freedom of self publishing, from choosing exactly what is in the book to the cover design to how the book is marketed to potential readers. Self published authors often discover that the intangible benefits of bringing their books to print themselves, rather than working with a publishing company, are well worth the effort.
Let’s face it, being a disciplined writer is hard. There’s a reason that so many writers seek suggestions about finishing their book and it’s not because they have lost their creative spark or don’t have an excellent idea for their book. Building a consistent writing routine so you can finish your project is one of the biggest challenges many writers face.
However, authors who have made it through the self publishing process usually discover that writing takes commitment and conscientious effort and not just bursts of creativity, as helpful as a rush of high-productivity writing can be. Sticking to a writing routine, whether you feel like writing or not, is one of the most beneficial self publishing surprises authors are left with since it gives them the practiced skill set perfect for writing more books.
Most authors who self-publish use a lot of technology along the way, so you will most likely become very proficient in a variety of applications by the time you send your manuscript off to the printer.
Selling books as a self published author means you don’t share in book sale profits with a publishing company. Writing, printing, and selling books yourself allows you to keep a much bigger portion of the money you make. Traditionally, published authors might be given a small advance on their book sales and then a royalty payment of between 5% and 30% of the book’s sales once their advance has been earned back.
Self-published authors, on the other hand, earn up to 60% royalties on a book sale. Many writers who publish their own books become comfortable with the publishing process, making creating successive books easier, quicker, and more profitable as they build a fan base for their work.
Another of the self publishing surprises gifted to authors is the strong connections you will create during the writing, editing, printing, and marketing of your book. Some authors join a self publishing group of other authors to meet those who are working on publishing their own books and can be a resource for overcoming challenges.
Networking with other authors is a great way to learn more about the writing process too, so many self-published authors join writer’s groups related to their genre and attend literary events, conferences, and meet-ups to connect with other authors as well as potential readers.
Instead of feeling mentally and creatively depleted from writing and publishing their own book, many authors are surprised to find that they experience the opposite. Developing a consistent writing routine, regularly communicating with other writers, and completing a monumental task like transforming your manuscript into a ready-to-print format will energize your creative juices.
One of the most beneficial self publishing surprises is that this creativity boost can result in an increase in writing ideas. Authors with practice writing and creating regularly might find a host of new ideas for books, blog posts, or other projects on their radar as a result.
Adding Published Author to your bio sets you apart in the eyes of the world. One of the likely unexpected self publishing surprises is that you will now be viewed by the world as someone with authority on your subject simply because you have published a book. You may have been cranking out authoritative work in your niche for years, have a successful blog or even have contributed your expert knowledge to other media outlets, but until your book is published this distinction is not recognized by the general public.
And business owners especially may see an uptick in consumer confidence after becoming a published author since authoring a book demonstrates expertise in your field. This credibility can transfer to bigger sales and more exposure in your industry.
When your cache rises in the community and your industry as a result of your book’s publication, it’s inevitable that some new opportunities will come your way. Industry groups and leadership organizations are always seeking industry experts to present their knowledge at a conference meeting, sit on a panel, or be tapped as a guest speaker for their events.
Libraries and schools often send out a call for authors with expertise to share information with their students or visiting families. Authors are often asked to read selections from their books and answer questions about their new publication, but new writers can volunteer for this type of opportunity as an excellent way to get the word out to potential readers about the new book. Published authors often experience more requests for speaking engagements and interviews, especially within an industry that appreciates expertise.
Often business leaders or owners choose to author a book to showcase their industry knowledge or provide insight into their business’s successes or unique history. As your credibility as an expert rises along with visibility within your industry, sales and increased business may follow as well.
In fact, this side benefit is so well known in the business world that many business owners self-publish a book as a tactic to improve visibility in the community and impact sales because of the instant credibility that book authorship brings.
One of the self publishing surprises you may not see coming is that writing a book will teach you more about yourself than you would expect. Writing a memoir or a book about specific personal knowledge will both require a strong dose of self-reflection during the creation process. But writers who persevere through the unavoidable challenges that come with conceptualizing, writing, editing, printing, and marketing a book are going to learn a lot about who they are (and are not) during the process.
Authors discover their personal and professional strengths and weaknesses and explore what it looks like to meet important goals. Nonfiction authors will often dig deep to reflect on what is important to them while they write and publish their work. But even novelists and other fiction writers will experience a measure of self-reflection and personal growth through the process of writing and self-publishing a book.
Once you become a published author, you might be surprised to discover that authoring another book doesn’t sound too daunting. In fact, your upswing in creativity and new-found writing stamina built up through a consistent writing schedule have likely inspired you to take notes on new writing project ideas that might even include your next book.
And now that you have navigated the ins and outs of self-publishing and everything that goes with it, writing a second (or third!) book will be much easier to do. If you already have your next book project in the works, let Publishing Xpress help you turn that manuscript into a gorgeous book so you can start thinking about the next book project you’d love to get started.
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