Self-publishing is rising across the country. Authors feel that they have more flexibility and more control over their work.
Many authors, including traditionally-published authors, are preferring self-publishing to traditional publishing. With self-publishing, authors escape uncertainty, long waits, and get an opportunity to express their artistic work.
Director of White Falcon Publishing Solution LLP, Navsangeet Kaur Batth said, “We have authors who got their books published in the traditional model. However, for their next books, they opted for self-publishing.” She said that this shift is indicative that self-publishing is beneficial for authors in terms of more control over their content. There is also a chance for the authors to get better royalty if the sale is good.
Prathibha Rajasekar, a publishing advisor from Pothi, a self-publishing platform that helps authors publish books on their website, said that in a month, an average of 300–400 e-books are published on their website. She added that there was a time when self-publishing was looked upon as “vanity publishing” but the perception has changed now. Many authors now choose self-publishing as their first option rather than a last resort.
Vishal Ved, a self-published author said, “Self-publishing is one of the best ways to publish.” He published his fiction book “Tomarkus And The Betrayed Planet” in 2019, which sold “15000 copies, across all platforms .” He added that nowadays when one tries to publish in traditional ways, there is uncertainty. Not everyone gets a chance as the competition is high. Even to know whether the publication house will publish their work or not, one has to wait for six months.
Apart from being an author Ved runs Rolling Authors Agency which helps authors to publish, market, and sell their books. From his experience with self-published authors, he said that yearly, about 3000–4000 books are coming out through self-publishing.
Aiswarya Pillai, an author who recently published her book “It Was Always Dark” explained that at first, she approached traditional publishers. Once she realized that traditional publishing would take much more time than she imagined, she decided to take matters in hand and went ahead with self-publishing.
Even if self-publishing is growing, it has its challenges and drawbacks. Sherna Khambatta, the founder of Sherna Khambatta Literary Agency, explained the hurdles of self-publishing. There is a chance of less visibility, more cost, and no support system. Further, she said that unless the books are professionally edited the quality of language is affected.
Aiswarya Pillai said that at first, she thought editing would be easy until she had to go through eight levels of it and had to learn new things. She also felt that being a writer doesn’t mean the job is finished with the writing. The writer must be present at every level of publishing.
However, this independent way of publishing is offering young authors, and even children an opportunity to publish their books.
Prathana Vaid, a student of 10th standard in Army Public School, Noida, has already published three books. Her first book, “Second Chance” was published in May 2019. She said, “I self-published all three of my books, and my experience was relatively fun; I got to learn a lot of things through creating my books’ interiors, covers, and editing them.”
One of the prime reasons behind the growth of self-publishing is the demand for e-books. With the advent of the Kindle Direct Publishing kit, self-publishing has boomed. With internet access in hand to 45 percent population of India, the consumption of e-books is growing. Apart from this, the e-book sector is projected to grow by $176 million in 2021, which will create opportunities for self-publishing in the future.