To self publish, or not to self publish…

It’s a great question, and we think we may have come up with a great solution.

Does the average author need a publishing house?
Can an author go it alone and get a book into the marketplace?
Or, if an author is going to self publish, should they at least use the services of a company who can pull their book together?

These are all great questions, and all each individual author needs to consider.

Firstly, yes, an author can self publish a book in today’s day and age. It is entirely possible, and in fact our Author Now division does just that. However, there are two downsides:

1. The author has to do all the hard work of sourcing all of the relevant suppliers to bring a book together. From editing, to cover design, internal formatting, printing, distribution and PR, they have to coordinate every facet.

2. The author is still left without a recognized imprint on their book , meaning that they hold little to no credibility when trying to source speaking engagements and the like.

A recognized publisher brings untold credibility to an author. Self publishing definitely has its place, and that is for either those authors whose books really are not up to a standard to be considered by a publishing house, or have all of their own speaking and distribution channels, meaning designing and printing copies on their own is the best financial model, as they will make all of the sales themselves.

While companies like Amazon’s Createspace are great for getting author’s published at next to no cost, the downside is that the books are, by and large, simply not up to scratch. A book is a work of art. Even the formatting of the pages should be done in a proper design program, and not simply a Word document converted to a PDF.

Of course, this can be done, and you can also use a friend of a friend to do your cover design, but to do so is not appreciating the art of a book. To prove the point, walk into a bookstore, thumb through the pages, and you will soon see how high the finished product is.

We often use the building analogy when explaining to authors why they should consider using a publisher. Imagine you want to add a room to your house. You could get the plans, then call a bricklayer, carpenter, plasterer, roof tiler, a carpenter, electrician and plumber (assuming there is a bathroom). Or you can make one call to a builder, and he will coordinate all of the above for you.

In this analogy, the publisher is the builder, pulling on all their team and contacts to produce the book for you, saving you the headache. Of course, there will always be books that either shouldn’t see the light of day, or at best don’t deserve to be with a publishing house, but for ninety percent of the authors out there, going it alone is not advised.

At Ark House, we have specifically developed a co-publishing model for authors who do not have the profile or social media following to secure a full scale publishing contract, yet have the desire to be with a recognized publishing house. Click here for more information.

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