For many pastors considering self-publishing, the benefits are obvious: dodging the whole “getting a major publishing company’s attention” being the biggest. However, there are several less-obvious reasons why self-publishing can be a great option for church leaders looking to turn their ideas into a sellable product.
3 Unexpected Benefits of Self-Publishing
1. CREATIVE CONTROL
The process of going through a publishing company involves a series of compromises as they mold your product into the lowest common denominator. Their job is to make as much money as they can, which means reaching the biggest audience they can by rounding off the distinctive edges of your creation.
The benefit of self-publishing is that it allows you to control the vision of your book, small-group series or manuscript from beginning to end. You can create the cover art, the content flow, the length or any other factor. If these things seem overwhelming, don’t worry: Equip Press has all the things you need to do the job well.
2. HIGHER ROYALTIES
The average royalties you receive from a traditional publisher is 15-20% of the net profit after any advance is earned out (which means you may never see a single royalty if your book sales aren’t good enough to cover the advance). However, with self-publishing, your take is much higher. Self-publishing through Amazon or Barnes and Noble will get you somewhere between 55-75% of the profits with little to no upfront costs. Some self-publishing options are all upfront overhead, meaning the amount of money you’ll make is directly connected to how many books you sell.
Regardless of which route you choose, you’ll easily make more per copy with Equip Press than you would via a traditional publishing route.
3. LONGER SHELF LIFE
Bookstores, like any business, depend on a consistent stream of new content, meaning if a traditional publisher released your book you’d have 30-60 days of shelf time at a traditional store. Unless your book catches on quickly, it will lose exposure. However, with self-publishing, your book can be promoted for as long as you want it to be.
The challenge of this – of course – is that the book’s sales are dependent on your built-in platform or audience. However, with fewer people shopping at traditional bookstores and e-books gaining in popularity, this isn’t as big of a loss as it seems.
Self-publishing will require you to be your own salesperson, promoting your product through social media or at your church. That being said traditional publishers largely expect authors to do this anyway, so there’s no avoiding this reality if you’re hoping to see your book make it to a large audience.
These are just a few of the reasons why self-publishing may make a lot of sense for writers attempting to get their work out in the world. The ability to control your content and keep it in front of an audience makes self-publishing an appealing option worth considering.