Sunday, August 23, 2009

Self-publishing trial & error

Last year, I made a blog post about lessons learned in self-publishing. It was made before the release of Blogging from Home (my 11th published work composed of books and research reports).

Holly Jahangiri just posted a three-part series on this topic tackling a prospective author's desire to write a book, avoiding scams aimed at writers, and to self-publish or not. As I am now working on 2 books, the said blog posts are more than timely.

The benefits of publishing a book
It will depend on the field you are in. Publishing a book helps in documenting what you know and being able to position yourself. It can become a powerful resume or body of work. In my case, I also use my book as a perk or benefit to those joining the DigitalFilipino Club where active members get a free copy.
It can help boost your credibility as well especially if the completed work is done well enough and reaches the hands of people who makes decisions.

Be realistic
It depends on the subject you are tackling, the number of people eager in buying a copy of your book can be easily miscalculated. With information explosion online, it is tougher to sell a book now than before. Some models you can consider:
  • Sell at an affordable price and go for volume sales
  • Sell at an upper price range and recover your investment within a year

Self-publishing or not
It depends. Had past experiences where two of my works were published by others but the whole dissemination was entirely left to me. If you can find one who can do the cover, layout, registration, sales, and promotion, then you got a great deal.

However, not many had that kind of opportunity and are mostly left in taking care most parts on their own.

Self-publishing is a worthy exercise as long as you are realistic on the returns and not relying solely on book sales.