Creative Control, Ease of Publishing and Money Pushing Authors to Self-Publish

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why authors want to self-publish

Hybrid authors who self-published their last book did so because of the amount of creative control they retained, the ease of the publishing process and the amount of money they can make, according to a new report from Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest about the habits and preferences of hybrid authors. This early data from the report was presented by Phil Sexton, Writer’s Digest community leader, at the IDPF Digital Book 2013 conference in New York.

When hybrid authors who chose to self-publish their last book were asked why they chose to do so, nearly two-thirds said one of their reasons was that self-publishing helped them exert more creative control on the final product. Some 40% said one of their reasons was because the ease of the self-publishing process, and nearly 40% said it was because they could make more money self-publishing.

Hybrid authors who published their last book with a traditional publisher said they did so for completely different reasons: amount of help received along the way (half); total reach of distribution (nearly half); and the prestige of working with a large publisher and seeing their books on major bookstore shelves (about a third).

When it comes to publishing their next book, hybrid authors are split nearly down the middle on how they want to do so, with just over half preferring to publish their next book with a traditional publisher.

The reasons why are the same for both groups, but in different order.

For authors who would prefer to self-publish their next book, the top three reasons why are:

1. Amount of creative control retained (three-quarters)2. Amount of money that can be made (nearly 60%)
3. Ease with which the publishing process is completed (about a third)

For authors who would prefer to publish their next book with a traditional publisher, the top three reasons why are:

1. Reach of distribution (about 60%)
2. Amount of help received along the way (about half)
3. Prestige of being published by a traditional publisher (nearly half)

A full report on these findings and much more, including analysis, is now available for pre-order.

 

Survey Methodology

The data above comes from an online survey conducted by Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest from April 2 to April 24 among “hybrid” authors — those who have both self-published a book and published a book with a traditional publisher. These hybrid authors were identified in a previous Digital Book World survey conducted in December of 2012. The online survey consisted of 20 questions. When the survey closed for tabulation, a total of 121 responses had been received.

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