Just over a week ago, I attended the FitBloggin’ 2016 conference in Indianapolis, IN. The keynote speaker there was Lisa Delaney, author of the book “Secrets of a Former Fat Girl.” Lisa has been working in publishing for years, so it was probably easier for her to get a book deal than it would be for some of the rest of us. She did tell us that she still had to write a book proposal and go through all of the normal hoops that authors have to jump through for publishers.
In the Q&A session after her keynote, Lisa answered several questions from the audience about publishing a book. One of the big take home messages I received from listening to the answers to the questions is how much support you’ll get from a traditional publisher. Yes, they’ll help you figure out the ideas you should cover in your book via your book proposal. But, from what she said, you’re on your own for a lot of the writing, editing, and marketing process.
But, most publishers won’t help much with editing. Lisa mentioned that she knew several authors who had to hire outside copy editors to help them edit their books. The editors at the publisher do give the final yes or no, but when it came to style, voice, and sometimes even grammar and phrasing, many authors were left to their own devices. Yes, if you’re an author, you may feel comfortable editing your own work. But, sometimes you’re too close to your own work and you miss mistakes that a professional copy editor wouldn’t.
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Lisa also told us that most authors still have to do all of the work to market their books when working with a traditional publisher. The process of promoting your book can take as much or even more time than it does to write your book. It’s a big process, with planning out emails to your list, social media posts, blog posts. Then, you’ll also need to create a plan to continue promoting your book after it launches.
I was left wondering: if your publisher is going to have you do most of the grunt work to market your book anyway, then what’s the point of working with a publisher?
Listening to Lisa answer questions about working with a traditional publisher really solidified my desire to stick with self-publishing. If I’m going to have to do a lot of the same work anyway, I don’t see the benefit in losing out on revenue generated from my book. The royalties I earn from my self-published book are much greater than what I would earn working with a publisher. And, I’m able to retain creative control of my book. I can make sure my book stays authentic to who I am and my message, instead of what the publisher’s editor thinks I should write about.
So, I plan to stick with self-publishing for now. I think this is also why some bigger names like Pat Flynn are moving to self-publishing, too. The process is faster and you’re in complete control of your book. You can stay true to yourself and your vision for your book. I hope you’ll strongly consider self-publishing, too. Self-publishing a lot easier than you think, I promise.