Self-publishing disadvantages are few, but they are substantial.

Self-publishing disadvantages became fewer with print on demand books and online book promotion. The traditional publishing industry is struggling with the changes.

Some of the disadvantages are:

  • You pay the costs of self-publishing upfront. If you don’t have the skills required to design, format, and edit your book and cover, or don’t have the time or the inclination to learn, then there are considerable expenses upfront.

  • Editing is not included in most self-publishing packages. Editing is time consuming and expensive. I was lucky enough to be working with several professional editors when I wrote my book. I asked many people to read my manuscript in order to get blurbs for the back cover. I also asked them to look for typos and other mistakes.

    I am an avid reader, and I have noticed an increase in typos and grammatical errors in recent years. It is obvious that traditional publishers have cut back in this area. I would go with friends and English students even though the lack of professional editing is the most often cited criticism of self-publishing.

    I think it is fantastic that anyone can publish a book, and I would not let the lack of resources to acquire professional editing stop me.

  • Book promotion is not included in most self-publishing packages, and when it is offered, it is usually over priced and ineffective. Most new authors are offered little or no help with book promotion by traditional publishers, but make no mistake; this is the self publisher’s biggest hurdle. You must learn to promote your book online in order to succeed.

  • There is still a stigma attached to self-publishing. Traditional publishers have been turning away good and great authors for years. I believe we will gain much more than we will lose with self-publishing even if some books will lack professional editing. I believe reader reviews will diminish the poorly written, sustain the well written, and elevate the superbly written.

    Part of the stigma is based on a failure to distinguish between the vanity publishers of old and the new providers of self-publishing services. Besides, I believe there is some vanity involved with wanting to be published by a traditional publisher, and looking down on self-publishing.

    In any case, self-publishing will grow exponentially because self-publishing disadvantages are fading, and it is a solution that works.

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