In 2021, self-published books have a better chance than ever of making it big. Self-publishing is accessible to everyone, no matter who or where you are.
You can even write your book in the most remote inhabited place on earth (Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland) and print on demand in Cape Town.
You don’t even need to have your book in a bookstore to be successful. Readers really don’t worry about how a book is published, as long as the book is first-rate.
If it’s going to become a bestseller, it will, whether or not it’s traditionally published.
Possibly the most (in)famous self-publishing success story is E.L. James' 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. She self-published the first book in 2011 as an eBook and printed on demand in paperback. OK, all self-published books might not go from an eBook to a bestselling paperback to a Hollywood blockbuster.
But if you've written a book, there's every reason to believe that you can self-publish it. And there are countless online sites to help you do this, step by step.
Self-published books are also extremely accessible. For instance, if you write a memoir about your remarkable life, someone searching 'memoir' on Takealot would see yours come up, along with the likes of Ahmed Kathrada's or Barack Obama's.
With the book-of-1 model, you are able to list your title on Print on Demand's local or international distribution channels and do your marketing first.
Once someone buys your title, the order is routed to Print on Demand's facility where it is produced, delivered to the online platform of your choice and makes its way to the customer.
By printing this way, publishers and self-publishers are able to reduce the risk of printing too many copies upfront.
You can monetise your backlists and keep all your books in your catalogue in print. It is also great if you want to do pre-launch marketing to test the demand for a particular title.
This exceptional service means you can make a more informed decision when it comes to spending your hard-earned money.
Readers want choice; to choose what they want to read based on where they are. When you’re on the beach you don’t want to get sand in your tablet, so you prefer to read a physical book.
Travelling by plane, reading on a tablet is more convenient. And in your car, an audiobook is probably the most productive way to spend the commute.
Many readers will use e-Readers, one of the major benefits being that you can now carry a whole library with you anywhere.
This means that even if someone chooses to take one book with them when they venture out to the cafe, travel or relax, they are also taking your book.
It’s also possible to read eBooks on a laptop or even a smartphone, making it easier for people to remember to pick up and read without trying to remember where they left the book.
Print on Demand gives publishers the opportunity to sell their eBook on every major marketplace in the world including Apple, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Google and Barnes & Noble.
It also has distribution rights with Takealot (The Amazon of Africa). One in three eBooks sold on Amazon is self-published.
Publishing your book electronically means less use of paper as well as all the materials and processes that go into producing a print book.
As awareness of environmental issues grows, there will probably be a strong shift towards people buying eBooks for this very reason.
eBook versions of your self-published book can create even more revenue for you, reach new markets and test demand in a relatively inexpensive and measurable way.
Print on Demand also has a professional video and audio production studio that can help you record audiobooks, videos, podcasts and adverts.
Their team of voiceover artists, a producer and a sound engineer can guide you every step of the way and give you the best opportunity to make a good first impression, build customer relationships, monetise your content and build a loyal following.
Whatever you’re writing, the self-publishing method offers you maximum creative control and the ability to pocket a greater share of the profits.
The bottom line is if you’re a first-time writer, it will be more difficult for you to attract the attention of the publishing industry anyway.
Self-publishing a book, eBook or audiobook can help you attract a fan base and prove to potential publishers that you know how to write a book.
Numerous successful authors got their start in self-publishing, and producing a hit on your own may attract the attention of book publishers in the future.