Just a few years ago, there was still a huge stigma with self-publishing. The general view was that no traditional publisher – and in particular the Big Publishers – would ever touch an author who had gone the DIY route.
How times change.
Now, big publishers actively seek authors who have had success in self-publishing. Why? Because that author has done all the legwork in terms of profile building, audience building, and market testing.
But what’s really significant is that many self-publishers – the “indy authors” – are making far more money and have far more freedom than the average traditionally published author.
Michael J Sullivan, a highly successful full-time fiction author, recently wrote a post on Reddit titled “My best advice to authors has completely changed“. In it, he observes:
I know a lot of authors, both indie and traditional, and I have to say, the indies are absolutely “crushing it” in terms of income when compared to their traditionally published counterparts. For years, I’ve been telling my indie friends, “You know, you should take at least one trad deal…it worked well for me, I think it will for you.” But nowadays it’s my traditional friends I’m reaching out because, as good as traditional has been to me, my advice to authors is “You gotta stop signing traditional contracts.”
Later on he answers the million dollar question: how is an author with zero clue about cover art, marketing, etc supposed to manage?
Just as publishers hire freelancers for cover design and copy editing, so, too, can authors. You don’t need to “make it yourself” you have to hire others to do it for you.
This is very much our philosophy at SelfPubAus. There’s a whole community out there of fellow writers who have skills and knowledge to share. You don’t need a traditional publisher these days. There’s also a fast-growing industry of professional ancillary services to access.