The “Control” of Self-Publishing

Yesterday I was over at the Catholic Writers Guild Blog sharing my thoughts on the control that self-publishing authors have:

Self-Publishing is so easy nowadays that anyone can publish his or her own book. Because of that, many self-published authors are producing poor quality books. This can give self-publishing a bad name.

In some respects, self-publishing is more difficult than publishing with traditional publishers. After all, publishers take care of the editing, cover design and all the jobs that go with creating a quality book. They often do extensive marketing as well.

However, I believe the advantages of self-publishing outweigh the disadvantages. I’m going to share what I believe are the main advantages of self-publishing.

I do not use Trafford, Author House or Publish America. I simply started my own publishing company and currently sell my books through Amazon, Kindle, Smashwords and my publishing website.

This month: Control

As a self-published author (and owner of my own publishing company), I maintain 100 percent of the control and decision-making. I like having a say in every part of my book’s creation. I enjoy working with my husband in the creation of a cover that I feel will best illustrate the content and story of my book.

I transcribe the book, make necessary edits, typeset it, convert it to Kindle and do all the marketing myself…which is why I’m only able to knock out four books in ten years.

If I can’t perform a specific job (like overall editing and copy-editing), I hire people to complete that job. I currently hire an editor, copy-editor and several proofreaders.

Control re: prices

This is especially important when it comes to setting Kindle e-book prices. As a self-published author with little overhead, especially with e-books, I can offer my novels at a remarkably cheap price of 2.99. Traditional publishers generally don’t do that, which means that I can sell more e-books than they do.

Control re: content

While my editor makes suggestions on plot, character, settings etc, I make the final decisions regarding those things. I don’t have to water down the Catholicity nor do I have to make it generic Christian, unless I feel that a certain project warrants that.

Self-publishing gives the author control over every stage of book production from first draft to publication.

Personally, it’s the way I like it.

I’ll be doing two moderated chats on self-publishing at the 2012 Catholic Writers Conference Online in March. Click on the link to find out more information about the conference.

Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach


15 thoughts on “The “Control” of Self-Publishing

  1. Pingback: Sunday Snippets – January 15 « Plot Line and Sinker

  2. Having your own publishing company entails getting a business license, starting up a business, getting an account with Library and Archives Canada. Publishing via Amazon/Create Space means they basically do everything. We still offer our books on Amazon and Kindle, but we get our ISBN # from Library and Archives Canada…as well, we design our own covers. Of course…this year, we will be publishing other authors’ works, so that is a big difference too.

  3. Ellen, props to you for doing all that work. I like the control of self-publishing, too. Soon I will have my first eBook to sell on Kindle. It’s actually a booklet on tips for participating in the Traditional Latin Mass. My free version has had 2700 downloads since last February. You’re really on to something regarding pricing, especially for today’s economy. It comes down to: which is more important: Getting read or getting a higher price for my book? I want to get read and will let God take care of the rest.

      • Smashwords is just another Kindle site, Colleen. I sell very few books there. It does, however, offer your book in other e-book formats (Nook, Kobo, Sony E-Reader etc). I recommend doing everything yourself (when you can). Colleen and Barb, I also highly recommend attending the Catholic Writers Conference Online in March (March 17-31). It’s free. I’ll also be doing two chats: one on self-publishing and one on Kindle e-books.

  4. Amen, Barb! Congrats of having 2700 downloads! Good for you! I agree…for me it’s more important to get read and get an audience…and I’m doing just that! Today ALL THREE of my novels were in the TOP FIVE of R & L fiction on Amazon Kindle (I still can’t believe it!)

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