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Three Reasons Not to Self-Publish Your Business Book

Three Reasons Not to Self-Publish Your Business Book

As a business owner, a book is a powerful tool that can position you as an expert in your industry and set you apart from your competition. What stops a lot of people from doing it is the fear of the process. Prior to the digital age and the rise of Amazon, aspiring authors would spend days, weeks, and sometimes months submitting manuscripts to agents and editors at large publishing companies, but that’s no longer the only path.

Now, there are many options when it comes to publishing a book. At one end of the spectrum, there are the large publishing companies who still use lengthy submission processes and tend to be extremely selective. At the other end of the spectrum, is self publishing, where authors take every aspect of the creation of their book into their own hands.

Self publishing can be a rewarding journey. As the author, you retain all the rights to your work, and you collect 100% of the royalties. You may choose to involve professionals in the production process (editing, cover design, book design, etc.), but even still, the costs are minimal. In the end, you have a book that you created on your own, and you are solely in charge of its success.

While that may sound more attractive than submitting your manuscript over and over to large publishers, there are several reasons why self publishing may not be the best option either, and how a publisher who takes a middle-of-the-road approach can be the perfect fit for business owners.

Your Time is Valuable

 Creating a book is a time-consuming venture. The writing alone can take a lot of time, and production can be just as arduous. There are a lot of formatting quirks that you need to know in order to create a book that is readable, and learning the process takes patience. If you’re busy running a business, you do not have time to sit down and learn the ins and outs of book production.

Any author who has made a career out of self publishing will tell you: It takes a lot of trial and error before self publishing starts to pay off. Different authors have different perspectives, but most say that the first three to five books they publish are all “learning experiences,” and the quality is usually pretty low. Many authors will go back and re-publish their early efforts once they’ve learned more about the industry.

Unless you’re trying to make a career out of being a self-published author, you probably do not want to spend your valuable time learning how to publish books. A much better use of your time would be to work with an experienced publisher that will ensure each book you put out is a polished product. Remember, you want your books to boost your reputation, not detract from it.

The Best Books Are a Team Effort

 One thing that attracts many people to the self-publishing world is the fact that there are no gatekeepers. This is really a myth, and it can be a dangerous one. There absolutely are gatekeepers; the gatekeepers are the readers, and if they don’t like your book, it could hurt your reputation and image as an author, and even as a business owner.

It’s tempting to take control of your book project from start to finish and not solicit feedback. The problem is, as the one writing the book and running the business the book is about, you’re too close to it to see it objectively. You may think you’re telling your story in the most compelling way, and that you’re delivering the information your readers need, but only an outside observer can make that call.

To create the best book possible, you’ll need the help of several professionals. You’ll need at least a copy editor and a cover designer, and that’s the bare minimum. Most books actually go through several independent rounds of editing, and it’s wise to also have a layout designer who can format your book correctly and a marketing consultant who can help you form a strategy for what to do with your book once you have it.

As a self-published author, you would either have to skip working with some of those people and take on the risk of doing those tasks yourself, or you would have to take the time to find each of those professionals. That brings us back to point number one, which is that your time is better spent running your business than looking for professionals to help you with book production.

The great thing about smaller hybrid publishing houses is that they typically have all of those professionals under their roof, or at the very least, have working relationships with established freelancers. For example, at Maven Publishing, we handle every aspect of production so that you can focus on being a business owner. We work closely with you so you know what to expect along the way, but we make sure that you can keep your full attention on your business while we’re working behind the scenes.

Publishers Bring Credibility

 As a business owner publishing a book, you want to establish yourself as an expert. You want to position your business in such a way that it stands out from the rest in your industry. When a potential client picks up your book to find out what makes your business great, they may think twice if they see that your book is self-published.

On one hand, this isn’t fair. There are authors who have mastered the art of self-publishing and who have figured out how to produce quality books on their own. On the other hand, there are a lot of self-published books out there that truly are sub-standard. Lower quality is still what people expect when they see a self-published book.

By working with a publisher, you avoid this perception problem. A legitimate publisher logo on the title page of your book can make a world of difference. It may seem like a trivial thing, but image is extremely important, especially when the main purpose of your book is to help you solidify your reputation.

Hybrid publishing grew out of the need for options. People wanted a way to get their stories out there that would ensure the kind of quality that a publisher can produce, but without having to jump through all the hoops of traditional publishing. For busy entrepreneurs and business owners, it’s best to find a publisher who can give you the best of both worlds and help you create a book that becomes a lifelong, business-boosting asset.

For more information on how a hybrid publisher can help you with your business book, contact us at Maven Publishing. We’d love to talk to you about our process and get you on your way to getting published!

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by Jessica Dawson // Editor-in-Chief of Founder Nonfiction, a boutique publishing house of non-fiction, making published authors of entrepreneurs, business people, and professionals.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.