When explaining why they chose self-publishing , authors often cite the fact that they got to keep 100% creative control as a valued benefit, when more often, it’s a liability.
The idea that an author retaining 100% creative control is an advantage is one of the self-publishing industry’s biggest lies.
The theory behind the myth it is that when you self-publish, “you get to have your book exactly how you want it.” But the problem is that if you are not a publishing professional, then you do not necessarily know what’s best for your book.
Put another way, ‘the way you want your book’ might be the worst thing you could do to it.
When authors take too much advantage of “100% creative control,” obvious errors abound. It leads to books with poorly designed, amateurish covers, uneven interior margins and headings, and bizarre stylistic choices.
To a trained eye, these books scream self-published.
But it’s the untrained eye you should worry about
An untrained eye looking at a poorly designed and edited book only knows that “something’s wrong” with it. The reader will intuit that something about your book is “a bit off,” but they won’t know that the issue is in the design flaws, so they’ll assume there’s something wrong with the author (you) or the content.
I’m guessing this is NOT the outcome you seek.
Now, I’m not saying don’t self-publish. What I am saying is that you should choose a highly professional book packager, and work with them in the same way an author works with a traditional publisher.
How do I mean?
What most self-publishers don’t know is that it’s incredibly rare for a traditional publisher to ram-rod an author into a book design or turn of phrase that they hate.
Publishing houses want their authors to love their books too, so these details are handled as a collaboration, not a subjugation.
More often than not, the fact that the publisher gets the final say on creative is a failsafe protection to ensure that your book looks professional, polished, and is a great read.
The good news is, you don’t have to get a book deal to receive these benefits. Any self-published author can have a book that looks, reads, and feels so good, that only a publishing industry pro would be able to tell the difference.
All you need to do is two things
- Hire real professionals to handle all the finishing touches–from line edits, through design, layout, and printing. And…
- Trust their guidance. At some point, you may you need to choose between being right or being great. Be great.
The Bottom Line:
100% creative control for self-publishers is overrated. To get the best product, hire top-notch designers and editors. Share your ideas, and trust their guidance as you collaborate to put out your best book.
Thinking of self-publishing but not sure where to go to get the professional help you need? Check out our Manuscript to Marketplace services.