There are many benefits of the new self-publishing options. I’ll cover the financial at the end.
It is very fast!
One of the real changes in the new paradigm is the speed with which you can release books, booklets, posters, and so on. If you have proofed copy that is ready to format, you can get it published and released in a day or so. The limitation is only your formatting speed.
With the techniques and workflow explained in Writing In InDesign, you will be able to write, formatting as you go, ending up with finished formatted documents that are ready to publish and distribute to your readers and supporters in a wide variety of formats: printed and digital.
It is very easy to revise into a new edition
New editions of existing works take a little bit of time because they are usually substantially rewritten. But even a radically revised new edition can be done in a week to a month. This 2nd edition book is a major rewrite of my Writing In InDesign book—adding a great deal (nearly 150 pages). But even then I only spent a few months—mostly waiting for the CS6 release. I could have released it two months ago except for that fact.
Typo fixes are commonly done in a day—unless you have purchased a distribution package that requires a new proof. Even in that case you can get a new proof printed, shipped to you, and approved in around a week. If you have bought a distribution plan which charges you for reworking or making changes, release it as a new edition or under a new name.
You can revise all versions of your book in this time frame IF you have your application set up well and IF you use the formatting techniques I share in Writing In InDesign. InDesign CS6 has added some capabilities which make this process even more convenient.
You can easily publish in multiple formats
Some of the new possibilities really rock your traditionalist world the first time you realize what can be done. For example, with many of my latest books I begin with a coil-bound workbook edition. Because of the vagaries in the on-demand world, spiral-bound books cannot be distributed. Therefore they do not require a proof.
Because they cannot be distributed, there is no massive markup for retail. This means I can offer these books at near cost and still make the same royalty as I will with the distributed retail book released later. This means that the workbooks can be sometimes be listed at a lower price than the retail books and come close to the price of mainstream mass market books.
At this point I publish in many formats, depending on the book type.
My current list of formats and suppliers is:
- Spiral-bound workbook from Lulu: often 8.25″ square
- Paperback or two from Createspace: 5×8, 6×9, and/or 7×10
- Kindle: commonly use the KDP exclusivity to start
- iBooks: ePUB through Lulu
- PDF: Lulu and Scribd
- PubIt (Barnes & Noble): ePUB
- Kobo Writing Life: ePUB
I can publish all those listed above at no cost
Now that I have my computer, my software, and my experience, the only costs I am experiencing are in time spent. For some books, I do mail out samples—but not often.
Marketing expenses are optional. Most of it can be done with social networking. Paying for marketing rarely works well.