Why publish your own work?

There are as many different reasons to publish a book as there are writers - what's yours?

Why indeed. After all, bestseller status rarely beckons for the self publishing and indie author, despite phenomenal success stories like Rachel Abbott, Nick Spalding and Adam Croft. There's a lot of competition out there (according to Bowker 32 million books are now in print...and counting!) so many self-funding writers find it hard to get attention for their books let alone make sales.

However for many writers superstar status is extremely low on a list of priorities. There are far more interesting and personally satisfying elements to the publishing journey (although let’s be honest, a million sales would be nice!).

Almost every author who comes to SilverWood Books has a different reason for wanting to get their book into print.

Do any of these apply to you and your work?

  • My book is local interest, and unlikely to attract a mainstream publisher.
  • I’ve written a memoir that my friends and family have said they’d like to read.
  • I’m confident there’s a wider market for my book and I have a clear plan for promoting and selling it to my potential readers.
  • I want to test the market and see what responses are to my writing.
  • I’m an established author but my backlist is out-of-print and I want to make sure my books are available again.
  • I run a business and have written a book that can be sold or given away as part of my talks, seminars and other business activities.
  • I want to publish my book for a sense of personal achievement.
  • I’ve spent years researching our family history and want to share it, as well as leave a legacy for future generations of our family.
  • I've written a novel that's been turned down by mainstream publishers - but I don't want to abandon my writing because I think there are readers out there who will enjoy my story.
  • I have time, energy, resourcefulness, drive... and a budget to see it through.
  • I simply want to finish this project and see it in book form.
  • I’m retired and self-publishing is a fun hobby - my husband restores classic cars, while I write and publish books.
  • There’s a time issue... I can’t afford to wait for a mainstream publisher to show interest, but want to get my work into readers hands quickly.
  • My poetry is languishing in a drawer and I’d like to see it published. If anyone buys it, that’s a bonus!

Whatever your reasons, they’re all valid...

As publishing expert Dr Alison Baverstock, author of The Naked Author: a guide to self-publishing, says of publishing your own work, "While it is very seldom a direct route to riches, it can be a route to self-fulfilment, and this may be just as important."

It’s important to approach your self publishing project with realistic expectations and an understanding of what your journey will entail:

  • Do your research, find out how much time, energy and budget is going to be taken up when you decide to publish a book.
  • Appreciate that while you hope to sell many copies of your book, you may sell only one (or even none).
  • Profit should be a bonus rather than your reason for doing it.
  • Most of all, do it because it’s fun and because you want to.

“The personal service I received was superior. No query or problem was left unanswered or unattended.”

Nicholas King