Self-publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

While the publishing industry has become more diverse than it used to be, it isn’t anywhere near as diverse as it should be. A 2020 article in Forbes looked at the challenges that authors of color face, and it doesn’t paint a particularly hopeful picture. While the industry may become more representative, it could take a long time.

It is for this reason that some authors decide to self-publish. Life is too short to wait around for the publishing world to get with it and become more open to authors with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints. Authors who believe in their work and have done their due diligence to write, edit, and illustrate don’t feel they need a publishing company to tell them they pass muster.

Some authors self-publish because they have been inspired by Toni Morrison’s advice: “If there’s a book that you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” They have the seed of an idea so they water it, tend to it, and watch it flourish into a story.

Of course, some authors likely don’t even like the idea of traditional publishing because it may take away some or even all of their creative control. As entrepreneurs publishing their own work, they have complete say over every aspect of the story from the design, picking their editors and illustrators, how they choose to market, and their pricing.

I’m sure a lot of authors who self-publish are a combination of all these backgrounds, and some likely have their own unique reasons that go beyond these aforementioned ones. Publishing can be personal.

Self-publishing is in no way an easy task. If anything, it is more work because authors don’t have a team of editors or marketing experts behind them, guiding them and offering them insights and warnings. The upshot is that getting a book self-published and into the hands of readers is especially thrilling because it is so much a do-it-yourself-on-your-own-terms endeavor.

I have been writing and publishing books for a number of years now, but it is always exciting to get a new book out into the world. The glow I feel on every new book birthday never goes away. I self-published my first book Love Is… almost ten years ago and it was just a mere 73 words! I am excited to begin sharing more of my publishing journey, and the reasons why I decided to self-publish here with you! To see Love Is… and other books I have written, please visit Make a Way Media. Happy publishing!