3 Common Misconceptions About Self-Publishing

Whether you have published some of your work before or this is the first book you want to put out there, you may already know that there are two ways to get published.

Steuben press 3 common misconceptions that people still have about self publishing

You can collaborate with an agent or you can publish it yourself. The latter option seems like more of hassle and a lot of authors try to avoid it.

But, here’s the thing: contrary to popular belief, self-publishing your novel isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. Sure, it isn’t as easy as handing the manuscript to a publisher and let them make all the necessary calls and decisions. But think about it this way: When you self-publish, you have control over the entire process, a perk you cannot enjoy with an established publishing house.

Still not sure which path to choose? Here are some misconceptions about self-publishing and the truth behind them to help you make the right call:

Self-Publishing Is Expensive

There’s a bit of truth behind this claim. In the past, because of the expensive printing methods and strictly imposed copy minimums, self-publishing was rather costly. Things have changed dramatically in recent years, and you can now find a variety of printing options that suit every preference and budget.

Unlike the old days, you don’t have to pay for 1,000 copies of your book in advance if you want to be published. Instead, you can only print what you sell. That way, the risks of being stuck with books that you aren’t able to sell decreases significantly. Not to mention the fact that you don’t have to pay for inventory and storage.

If You Self-Publish, Your Book Will Not Become Popular

A lot of authors think that if they do not associate their names with a big publishing agency, their book will not get to the general public. Therefore, it will not sell. They believe that if they self-publish, the only ones who will know about their books will be their families and circle of friends.

That is yet another misconception.

One argument to contradict this is that e-books play a significant role in the digital world and it can be an option to consider for some authors. Plus, this method will eliminate the cost of traditional printing materials and the need to have storage for inventory and accommodate hard copies.

You might think that because digital books are cheaper than physical copies, you’ll need to invest more time and effort to be able to make a profit. Although a lot of people still prefer physical books, eBook sales are on the rise. Accessible and easy to carry around, digital books have become a preferred alternative for many people across the world. One of the benefits they enjoy is that they don’t have to sit and wait around for their books to arrive. They get them in their Inboxes the second they purchase them. So, even though eBooks might be cheaper than physical copies, the growing number of people interested in them can compensate the low prices.

You Only Self-Publish If You Cannot Find a Traditional Publisher

Another common misconception is that self-publishing is a last resort. The reality is that many authors choose to self-publish without even considering looking for a publisher. It is not only easier to self-publish but also quicker. Going the traditional route may take months or even years in some cases. It can happen that the manuscript you’ve worked so hard for to end up on your agent’s desk for quite a while before they can find a publisher. On the other hand, when you self-publish, you are the one who makes the rules.

In the end, it’s hard to claim without any trace of doubt that one option is better than the other. Both traditional publishing and self-publishing have their advantages and disadvantages. Take some time and really think about it. What would serve you best? Would you sleep better at night knowing that your book is being handled by an established publisher? Or would you rather prefer being the one who makes all the important decisions?

Adam user

President & CEO,
Steuben Press

Adam Ellis has worked in the book industry since 2002, when he was first exposed to the wonderful world of Self Publishing. Over the years he has worked with thousands of authors and helped to produce, print and publish countless books.

Flight cover

After a disappointing proof of my labor-intensive and much loved manuscript from another printer, I decided to try Steuben Press. Based on recommendations from many of my publishing team who are all members of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA), I submitted my book to Adam and his staff.

Their proof was perfect! The illustrations were crisp, the print clear, and the construction high quality. But the cover! Absolutely beautiful and softly glossed, Steuben's production added depth to the colors and popped the fine design by my cover artist. My book shimmers on the shelf!

Now I sell only Steuben's copies by hand and feel confident that my readers are receiving the best product reflecting my years of effort and passion for my subject.

– Sunny Weber, Denver, CO