What do you think are the biggest drawbacks to self-publishing a book?
Have you self-published a book? I have. I've asked in a previous question what you think are the most positive aspects of self-publishing, but I'd also like to get people's takes on the other side- the problems with self-publishing.
I did self-publish a book and while it is thrill to have a book in print, I am not a self-promoter. I just cannot sell myself or my book so that part of it is the worst thing for me with self-publishing,
If someone else set up booksignings, interviews etc. I would have no problem with it. But sticking my neck out on my own is just too hard for me. I am fairly shy about some things...self-promotion is one of them.
One of the largest drawbacks I see with self-publishing, especially if someone is an amateur writer, is the lack of connections someone may have. Say you self-publish a book on amazon and it sells 50K copies, (1) that is more money in your pocket and (2) you don't have to go through the stressful task of looking for an agent; however, those positives could be more so drawbacks later on. Yes, say your book does sell 50K copies at that time, what about the next? WHat if your next book only sells 2K copies? Plus, you wouldn't have connections to literary agents, in whom are the greatest asset to have if you want to become connected to a larger publishing company, in which your book sales may be much more consistent.
I think the biggest drawback is having self-published work taken seriously, although slowly that is beginning to change.
Agents sift through large amounts of poorly conceived, poorly written work (though in their zeal they often throw out the baby with the bathwater). Publishers weed out further in terms of what the pulbic is after, and their editors ensure that work is coherent and lisible, and in the case of scientific books, solidly referenced by the time it reaches the public. The entire rigorous process offers readers an invaluable service by ensuring that, at least theoretically, only the best work gets published. Granted, great work sometimes gets left by the wayside, but overall, people who buy self-published books are taking a much bigger risk when they buy self-published books and they know it.
Authors especially are taking a risk by self-publishing. Unless they excel at self-marketing, even if the book is a masterpiece, it won't sell. If it doesn't get great figures, they'll burn any bridges publishers & agents for the future (who are categoric about it) even those who might previously have considered the work for publication.
Think carefully before self-publishing. It's one of those roads you can't turn back on.
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