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Thinking About Writing a Book? Here's Why You Should Publish it Yourself.

You may be better off taking the DIY approach.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many entrepreneurs are using newfound time at home to finally write down their unique ideas and stories to be published in book form. The Internet is rife with contradicting information about self-publishing and traditional book publishing, so which path should an entrepreneur — or writer in general — use for book publication? 

As the owner and founder of MindStir Media, I’m confident in saying that self-publishing is the proper route in many cases. Here are three main reasons why:

1.You’re guaranteed to get your book published

With traditional publishing, you'll generally need to find a literary agent to represent you and your work. But finding agent representation can be a long and arduous journey. I know writers who've spent upwards of a year or two sending out query letters and still haven’t been able to land an agent. Most traditional publishers will only look at a manuscript if it comes in through an agent, so literary agents are a valuable resource and contact when going the traditional publishing route. The major problem with this approach is that nothing is guaranteed. You could be one of those people who spend years trying to find an agent, or you could land an agent, only to get rejected by the traditional publishers anyways. 

With self-publishing, the ball is in your court. There are no literary gatekeepers holding you back. The consumer will be the final judge of your book.

Related: 7 Common Questions About Self-Publishing on Amazon

2. You’ll keep control over your book

Writers don’t always consider the topic of rights when comparing self-publishing and traditional publishing. With a traditional publisher, it’s common for you to relinquish your publishing rights to that company, meaning that you’ll lose control over your publishing rights as well as any creative control. If you get to the point where an agent pitches your book to a publisher and said publisher accepts your manuscript for publication, the publisher will own the rights to your book and will ultimately have final say over the content of your published book.

Self-publishing is the complete opposite in every way. The self-publishing author keeps their publishing rights and all creative control, from the cover design to the editing and book production. In fact, you can research and select your own book designer, professional editor, printer, distributor and more. 

Related: 7 Ways Self-Publishing Can Make You 6 Figures

3. You’ll enjoy much higher royalty rates

It’s a bit of a dirty little secret in the publishing industry that traditional book deals only payout about 10% - 15% royalties to authors. Some traditional publishing advocates tend to argue that it's worth giving up 85% to 90% royalties in exchange for superior support and distribution. But with physical bookshelf space dwindling and most consumers buying books through Amazon and other online retailers, that argument doesn’t hold much water in 2021.

An author can simply self-publish online and reach a large network of online retailers through a distributor such as Ingram. In turn, the self-published author can keep 70% - 100% royalties. If your book sells 10,000 copies, for example, you could see tens of thousands of dollars in your bank account from those sales through self-publishing, whereas traditional publishing royalties might only reach $10,000 or less from those same 10,000 copies sold.

Related: How to Budget Your First Self-Published Book on Amazon

J.J. Hebert

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

J.J. Hebert is the founder of MindStir Media, a top-ranked self-publishing company partnered with Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington and Mariel Hemingway. He is also a USA Today and No. 1 Amazon bestselling author and was named the "Entrepreneur to Watch in 2021" by International Business Times.