Since the beginning of the self-publishing industry, Amazon and other indie publishing platforms have made it progressively easier for authors to get their work onto the market.
Yes, there are still caveats. And self-publishing isn’t for everyone.
Knowing the pros and cons of self-publishing makes it easier to decide whether this is the right path for you to take with your book.
And KDP Direct pros and cons can help you decide whether to include Amazon in your self-publishing plan, considering its perks and the alternatives.
What you learn here can also help you decide whether any of this is worth the trouble.
Is Publishing on Amazon Worth It?
If you’re asking the question, “Should I publish on Amazon?” it’s time to assess what you want out of this and what you’re willing to put into it.
Self-publishing is not a hands-off approach to getting your book out there. It’s up to you to make sure your book gets everything it needs to have its best chance at becoming a best seller:
The first three things can cost a considerable amount, but if your book is carefully edited, neatly formatted, and wrapped in a gorgeous cover, you’re far more likely to sell enough copies to more than break even.
Competent editors, formatters, and cover designers are worth the money they charge. The most successful self-publishing authors recognize this when they’re building their own self-publishing team.
Just as they expect to earn good compensation for their writing, they value the work of their editors, formatters, and cover designers enough to pay them their quoted rates.
It takes a great team to create a book your readers will love and recommend to others.
If you doubt your book is good enough to sell thousands of copies (or more), the cost of the self-publishing route will probably outweigh the benefits — even if you shortchange your book creation team or do all the work yourself.
But if you know your book is worth the cost involved in giving it everything it needs to succeed, the self-publishing route will pay you back in a variety of ways. And you’ll be in a better position to help others make the most of it, too.
Benefits of Self-Publishing
If you’re still on the fence as to whether you should self-publish your book or find a publisher for it, the following list of self-publishing benefits might help you decide.
If you’d rather hand over the control to a publishing house and let them handle the editing, formatting, and cover design — as well as at least some of the marketing — no one can fault you for that. You have a right to choose the publishing route that works best for you.
If now you’re thinking, “I’m all in for self-publishing,” you might still wonder if Amazon is the best platform for your book. It’s a question worth considering, since you do have alternatives.
But self-publishing through Amazon has far more pros than cons, as you’ll see in the next section — especially if you live in the United States.
Self-Publishing on Amazon Pros and Cons
Now that you’ve gotten this far, it’s time to consider all the publishing on Kindle pros and cons. Since KDP Select enrollment is not required for publishing on Amazon, it’s possible to publish on other platforms while still maintaining an Amazon presence.
If you do enroll in KDP Select, it’s important to know that you’re choosing to limit your book’s presence to the Amazon marketplace — for every 90 days you choose to enroll or remain enrolled in the program.
In exchange for that exclusivity, Amazon helps you promote your book during those 90 days with a boosted presence during the first month and two different promotional tools — including five days in which you can offer your book for free.
If you choose to go wide after the first 90 days, though, leaving KDP Select is easy.
Pros of Self-Publishing on Amazon:
With all these pros, it makes sense to consider Amazon for your self-published book, even if you don’t want to deal with them exclusively.
Why pass up a chance to have your book on the biggest book marketplace on the planet — especially when it’s free?
Of course, there are cons to consider for every self-publishing option. Here are some you should consider if you’re looking at alternatives or just want to know what to expect.
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Cons of Self-Publishing on Amazon:
Those last two cons apply to any self-publishing platform, not just Amazon.
True, there are publishing companies that provide editing, formatting, and even cover design — for a price. If this appeals to you, check out our post on the 12 best self-publishing companies, so you can avoid those that overcharge for substandard work.
And when in doubt, do some internet research. And ask around in your favorite author groups. Like us, many of your fellow writers will want to help steer you away from scams.
Writing a book is hard enough.
Is self-publishing on Amazon for you?
Now that you’ve looked through the pros and cons of self-publishing on Amazon, you know there’s a lot to consider when publishing your book. And no one can decide for you.
This is your baby. And you know what you hope to gain by putting it out into the world.
If you decide to go the self-publishing route, your support team at Authority Pub are hard at work creating content to help you build the best version of your book and to publish it with minimal headache.
Here’s to a book publishing experience worth repeating.