Why I love self-publishing – A reader’s perspective
I am and have ever been a reader. I love stories and I try to read as much as possible. But buying books at 10-20€ or more can hurt your wallet quite a bit. And frankly, most authors can’t write their books as fast as I get through them, so more often than not, I ran out of things to read, waiting impatiently for the next installments. Because of the growing self-publishing-business, that is now next to impossible. So many books are published (and if you know where to look, you can get enough of them for free to last for months) it becomes hard to choose what to read. I agree that not every self-published book is readable, but there are enough at the same level (or above) of those traditionally published.
With many of them priced at 2.99 or 3.99 (which seems to be a sweet-spot at the moment) you can get whole series for less than one traditionally published book would cost you. Often, you can get the first book in a series for free or at a discount. This enables you to try out many stories and decide for yourself if you want to keep reading or not. Not only that, it became much easier to get a hold of short stories (often for 0.99).
Those are some sweet reasons to like self-publishing, but not the primary one for me. What I find best with self-publishing is that the author actually gets something from his book. Might seem a strange thing to say, especially when thinking about the success of someone like Dan Brown for example. What I want to highlight is that self-publishing authors can get 70% royalties from amazon. Granted, that is not much when thinking about 2.99/3.99, but I like that a substantial part of the money I used to buy a book actually gets to the author. And it seems that more than a few self-publishing authors can live from their books.
Traditionally published Authors might get an advance that can be quite high, but they often get only 10% royalties (or 25% for e-books) and if you ask me, I think that’s a shame. I buy and read books because of that one guy that took his time, sometimes years, to write a book that will strike me with awe. And most of my money lands somewhere else. I think the author deserves his money! I am buying his book and it doesn’t matter to me where he published or in which store I bought it. I think it is wrong practise to give the one that did the most work such a small cut. This might still make a fortune for some, but many authors don’t even earn back their advances.
I might be the only one, but I like it better when I am buying a book where I know the author gets what he/she deserves. And that is coming from someone that loves his hardcovers/paperbacks.