Why Do People Self-Publish?

Google "Edgar Rice Burroughs" - He ended up a big deal back in the day!
I have a friend, a New York Times bestselling author, who received around FIFTY rejection letters before finally finding a publisher.

People ask me about self-publishing all the time. They are usually curious about why some one is willing to bear the expenses on their own rather than submit the book to a traditional publishing house.

The only way to REALLY know why anybody does anything is to ask them. Here are some of the reasons authors tell me they publish their own books:

  • The audience isn't large enough for a traditional publisher to be interested in the book.
  • The book isn't intended for sale, such as a family history or other personal volume.
  • The book is written to promote a business - sort of an in-depth business card.
  • The author can't get a contract with a publisher. (See photo above!)
  • The first book they wrote wasn't promoted by the publisher and didn't sell.
  • The author prefers to keep more of the profit rather than accept a small royalty.
  • It takes years to get a contract and see any sales.
There are other reasons, of course, but these seem to be the most common. In my next post, I'm going to list some of the benefits of publishing your own book!

- Mary Beth Smith