You Should Self-Publish Your First Book — Here’s Why

Writing a book can help you leapfrog the conventional sales cycle in several ways.

Photo: Michelle Emerson, founder of From Creation to Publication; Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Michelle Emerson, founder of From Creation to Publication; Source: Courtesy Photo

Imagine this scenario: You need help with marketing so you go on the hunt for a marketing coach. You’ve done your research and whittled your list down to two potential contenders – David and Hannah.

Both marketing coaches have great credentials, a ton of social media followers, websites that “talk the talk” and oodles of vibrant, heart-felt testimonials from former clients. Their coaching fees are similar and they both appear to be very successful.

However, there is one notable difference between them.

Hannah has written a book called “How to Skyrocket Your Business in 6 Weeks.” And David, hasn’t got around to publishing his book yet.

So, you go with your gut instinct. Even without speaking to Hannah, you are convinced she is the marketing coach of your dreams and can help your business soar. A large contributor to this perception is the fact that you’ve read Hannah’s book.


Instant Expert Status

What does Hannah know that David doesn’t? “Books have a great way of growing your expert status and enhancing your credibility within your market,” Penny Sansevieri, author and CEO of Marketing Experts, explains.

Writing a book can help you leapfrog the conventional sales cycle because a book:

  • Is your silent sales tool that helps you establish a foot in the door without the usual ping-ponging of questions;
  • Shows you’re an expert and can check all the like, know and trust boxes without you having to lift a finger;
  • Gives you loads of media exposure which can get you noticed by key influencers in your field;
  • Gives you credibility and can help you stand out from competitors;
  • And it establishes your authority and is proof that you’re a master of your trade.


Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

So, why should you self-publish your first book instead of taking the traditional route?

It’s a control thing…

Self-publishing gives entrepreneurs full control. Whether you publish as an e-book or you prefer a physical format, you can have the last word on your content, layout, design, jacket cover and price.

Traditional publishers have editors who may want to ‘murder your darlings’ (i.e., a technical term for editing). They will have certain ideas about the jacket cover, they will have a house style/format to adhere to and they’ll decide on the price. Meanwhile, if you want to proceed there isn’t a lot you can do about these things apart from nod your head.

It’s also a time thing

Searching for potential mainstream publishers takes a long time. They get hundreds of manuscripts each day to sift through and are renowned for taking months to respond to unsolicited works. Self-publishing on Kindle can be done within a matter of hours.

It’s a cost thing

Yes, you will have to make an investment, initially, if you’re self-publishing, but it won’t break the bank if you find the right person to help. You can even do it yourself for free. There are a lot of print on demand (POD) options available now and CreateSpace (another one of Amazon’s babies) can help you with self-publishing and distribution.

If you’re self-publishing on Kindle then provided your book is priced between the $2.99 and the $9.99 you’ll get 70% royalties on every book you sell. You won’t get those kinds of royalties from a mainstream publisher, particularly if you’re an unknown author making their debut.


Quick Start to Self-Publishing

Self-publishing your book doesn’t have to be difficult either. You probably have most of the content written already, but you just don’t realize it.

  • Take a look at your personal and/or company blog – have you got a stock room full of them? Add an introduction, a conclusion and a further reading page and you’ve turned it into a book.
  • Take a look at your online courses, workshops and training sessions – could you transform them into a book?

One final thing I will tell you is this: Once you’ve popped your publishing cherry you’ll find it’s a constant itch that needs scratching.

You can build your audience from you very first self-published book and they’ll be eagerly waiting for the second installment, the third and the fourth. So, what are you waiting for?


This article has been edited and condensed.

Michelle Emerson is a writer, editor, content creator and e-book publisher. She’s the founder of From Creation to Publication, a business which helps entrepreneurs and authors to fulfill their lifelong dreams. Connect with @TheWritersAsst on Twitter.


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