As an aspiring writer, publishing your own book is probably something you’ve always wanted to do. Writing is a lengthy process. From writing the book itself to production, there are many nitty-gritty details to go over. But writing your autobiography is something personal and important. Having control over this project is crucial. You want to be portrayed the way you intend to be portrayed in your writing, and keep the integrity of your work.
But before diving in, ask yourself if you want to self-publish or go for the traditional route. Which side will be more helpful in the process? How is this going to affect the writing process?
Here are the reasons you should self-publish your autobiography:
No One Knows You More Than You Know Yourself
No one can tell your story as well as you can. It’s something you lived through, and there is no other person in the world who can tell your story with as much impact as you can. Writing your autobiography can be daunting. Even most fictional books have tidbits inspired by writers’ real lives. Take this as character development as a writer. It’s a hallmark for every writer to be hands-on, raw, and real when writing a story, especially if it’s theirs.
Being self-published means having no one to paint your work differently for the sake of sales. The book might end up looking like a different picture than what you intended because of marketing tactics. It might lose itself in the process.
Claim You Artistic Freedom
Self-publishing, as opposed to traditional publishing, gives you more freedom and control over your work. This means you are free to practice artistic freedom with no limits. The text, illustrations, layout, and even pricing are up to you. There are no opinions to consider during the writing and publishing process. You call the shots.
Having the ability to express your story is cathartic and healthy. That’s rewarding in itself, but being able to touch others with your story is another type of rewarding. There will be readers who have gone through similar experiences as you. Sharing the same struggles and reading them in your work will make them feel represented–and most importantly, heard. Your work will make them feel like they’re not alone.
You Choose Who to Work With
Naturally, proofreading and editing are part of the process. Working with other people usually starts at this phase. But professional relationships can be a cause of tension for the project too. If you were to get published by a publishing house, the editor might make changes you never had the intention of having in the final output.
The good thing about self-publishing is having a choice on whom you’re going to work with. Unlike traditional publishing, you will most likely work with someone who’s already there, regardless if both of you are on the same page or not (no pun intended).
Another point to be aware of is that different mindsets can color your work. Sometimes the direction of a story is altered in the course of editing because of different perspectives.
Profit From Your Work Properly
It’s your story to tell AND sell.
With self-publishing, you get higher royalties. Only a small chunk goes to publishing fees and services. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think the same for publishing houses.
If you choose to write under a publishing house, the majority of the profit will go to them. And if you have one, you still have to pay your agent too. Whatever is left is yours. Let’s be real. That doesn’t sound like a lot of money. Although you’re not writing for the sole purpose of getting a lot of money, it doesn’t sound reasonable. All that time, effort, and thought put into your book deserve to be rewarded. It’s just fair that you do.
Considering everything that’s been laid out before you, ask yourself if you really need a publishing house to make your dream a reality.
In this course, you’re not just writing a story. You’re writing your story. It’s not easy to easily let someone into the process of actualizing your book. It’s not worth it at all if letting them in means sacrificing some freedom and (a lot of) compensation. Every writer is entitled to their writing process, their creative direction, and their work. Don’t forget that.
Sharing our stories is one of the most vulnerable, raw, and human thing anyone can do. By sharing yours know that it’ll bless someone else. Now go tell your story.