A Peek on the Progress of Self- Publishing Industry: What It’s Really Like to Publish a Book?

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December 10, 2016

The world of self-publishing industry is increasingly becoming sophisticated with retailers constantly refining their features, and consultants partnering with others to offer more advanced and effective book publishing services. It is a rich marketplace that provides enormous possibilities for indie authors, yet it also encompasses to what experts refer to as increasing saturation that is now weighing on the industry.


LitFire participates during the 2016 Guadalajara International Book Fair


What You Need to Know about Today’s Self-Publishing Industry


There are a lot of things going on in this market and there is still so much to discover. What are some developments in the self-publishing industry? Here are some compelling questions regarding print-on-demand companies and what it is really like to self-publish your own book.


What are the advantages of self-publishing?

Self-publishing has both its pros and cons, so as traditional publishing. And despite the negativity that surround self-publishing, the numbers just keep on rising and there are no signs of stopping.  “For a long time now, self-publishing has been dismissed as an act of vanity – mainly by frightened executives in publishing houses, who hold up terrible examples of self-published works and say ‘See? This is why we exist,’” Hugh Howey on the book, Literary Careers in Modern Era.

Self-publishing services offer authors full control of their book’s price, cover design, illustration, to choosing the quality, style, title, and type of paper used. It can be concluded that pretty much every decision made throughout the whole publishing process is made by the author.




How has self-publishing transformed the bookselling industry?

There was a time when author success was dependent on whether or not their book will get picked up by the traditional publisher. Fast-forward 2016, gone are the days when authors had to wait for months—or even years—to get published.

“Nowadays, the Internet decides if you’re good, not the big man in the big office. No matter how important that man thinks he is, everyone else knows that he’s not important anymore, and the Internet decides these things, here in the modern age,” as expressed by Alexie Maxim Russell expressed, notable creator of the fictional character Trueman Bradley.
Several Hollywood blockbusters began life as self-published books. The global hit erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James started out as a simple self-published e-book that wasn’t able to pass the standards of traditional publishers. This has become an inspiration for many indie authors who want to succeed in the industry. And because of democratisation, digital revolution, and social media, this dream is getting closer to realization.


Is self-publishing for everyone?

Self-publishing does make life so much easier, but according to Douglas Wight, it was not as straight forward as he had anticipated. Wight is the distinguished author behind the book Hot Right Now: The Definitive Biography of Rita Ora.

“You have control of what you are doing, but it’s not for everyone. It’s a lot of work and a huge learning curve.”

However, he said that his gamble has paid off. Mr. Wight’s hardback version performed a lot better than what he was hoping for. He also added that he sold more than 3,000 copies of his book and the cost of publishing a book was entirely covered.  Currently, Douglas Wight confirmed that he is now planning to start a brand-new chapter of profitability.


But what if it’s not just readers or fame that you are after, but also financial rewards?

“If you want to become a writer in order to be rich and famous like me, that’s a bad idea,” Hugh Howey exclaimed. He added that money was not the reason why he started writing and it shouldn’t be the reason why anyone should publish a book.

“You should write because you love it. Get to the end of the manuscript, polish it to perfection, and then gain the widest readership possible. This is the best you can hope for. I think it’s possible for every writer who gives it their all.”


To sum it up, we live in an era where creators are given more freedom than ever to publish without being sent away and rejected by gate keepers. However, self-publishing does not guarantee anyone success. Hard work is one’s best weapon in this marketplace as authors are given tremendous possibility to create something to the best of their abilities.