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What Is Self-Publishing?

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

Today I welcome an entrepreneur who, with the help of her sister, decided to do things their own way by self-publishing!

What is self-publishing, why is it important, and why should an entrepreneur care?

Self-publishing, of a writer, is publishing a piece of one’s work independently and at one’s own expense. Publishing is the occupation, business, or activity of preparing and issuing books, journals, and other material for sale.

Publishing means making information available to the public. For example: I self-publish blog posts on theshadesofe.com website. Additionally, I am writing an e-book titled, The Starting Line: How To Start A Business.

Again, I am self-publishing, i.e., I am writing, editing, and releasing to the public (eventually) for consumption, by myself without the help of any large publisher.

Self-publishing covers all aspects of the book: writing, editing, proofreading, formatting, cover design, printing – every part of the publishing process is up to the self-publisher. But why is this important?

First, let’s start out with how difficult it is to get published in the first place. Most publishers do not allow unsolicited manuscripts, so even if you write the actual Bible, you still need to know someone that knows someone.

Larger publication companies are sifting through thousands of novels per week, so the likelihood a publication company is seeking out new talent isn’t very high.

Additionally, as those larger publications are sifting through endless pages of tales of Fabio’s hair glistened like the morning sun first hitting a field of grain, setting fire to the earth’s surface, and my soul.

Ok enough of that…

Being a self-publishing author allows the ability to have total control over intellectual property.

Intellectual property is work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript, to which one has right and for which one may apply for a patient, copyright, trademark, etc.

That means the entrepreneur has the ability to change and edit at will. No more requests from editors demanding changes for marketing purposes which has been a source of frustration in the past. However, with great power comes great responsibility.

In addition to having total creative control, the self-publisher also received higher royalty rates. In general royalty rates are between 7 percent to 25 percent. For self-publishing, independent authors, royalty rates are closer to 70 percent. That is almost a 50 percent difference between the two.

This is not to say being published does not have its own perks: salary, book tours, interviews, marketing guidance, etc., but except sometime between finishing a book and actual publication.

The time it takes to complete a self-published book and have it available for the digital downloads or print-on-demand is less than a day. You can write a blog right now, post it online in a few hours. Again, this includes writing, editing, formatting, etc., and have it available for readers.

Listen, everyone starts from somewhere – I say this all the time. And I get it – some individuals start the race a little closer to the starting line for a variety of reason, but at the end of the day nobody becomes a New York Times bestselling author overnight after writing their first piece.

Self-publishing is an opportunity to get the work out in the public eye. It helps engage and grow a fanbase, and that is why an entrepreneur should care.

Exploring self-publications can help build an opportunity to make a name for oneself. Have you heard of Rich Dad Poor Dad? No. What about Fifty Shades of Grey? Or the 1983 classic Eragon? Each one is a self-published book.

Don’t know where to start? Start writing blogs. From there, add those blogs to a newsletter to buildup an email list while showcasing to potential customers and publishers those writing skills. From there, take those blogs and mash them up into a book.

And maybe call that book The Starting Line: How To Start a Business, and release that book to Patreon members who support an entrepreneurial podcast maybe – just spit balling ideas.

Which reminds me: subscribe to The Shades of Entrepreneurship newsletter by visiting theshadesofe.com, and get a copy of the ebook The Starting Line: How To Start a Business upon release by becoming a Patron of the show!

As one guest said, “builders build”, and for some, writers write.

But remember: with great power comes great responsibility. Add value to the reader. Create content that is truthful, accurate and free generalization. Or do what A & J Books is doing, helping you stay creative, calm, and organized.

Time to get creative, entrepreneurs.

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