As a self-published author, productivity matters.

There are so many steps involved in creating a book. It would be nice if there was a tool that authors could use to help them manage the entire process.

Well, there is. As a self-published author, you have the option of working with a self-published platform.

Or do you? Is it a tool that’s worth your time?

Let’s find out what a self-publishing platform is and what the pros and cons are of working with them.

Self-Publishing Platforms

So, what are self-publishing platforms? They are platforms that help authors take full control of the publishing process.

These platforms can provide authors with the same resources they would receive from traditional publishing companies.

Some of these services could be:

  • Copyediting
  • Cover design
  • Formatting
  • Book distribution
  • Marketing.

Think of a self-publishing platform as a one-stop shop for authors.

If you wanted to, you could work with a self-publishing platform for the entire publishing process. Or you could use the platform for the services of your choice.

But with everything else in life, there are pros and cons of working with a self-publishing platform. Let’s take a look at the pros.

Benefits of Using a Self-Publishing Platform

Some of the benefits that come with using a self-publishing platform include:

  • Full control of your royalties. Instead of splitting royalties between a traditional publishing company you don’t trust, you own 100% of your royalties.
  • Greater variety. Traditional publishing companies sometimes make it difficult for authors to convert their books to different formats. With a self-publishing platform, you’ll be able to convert your book to whatever format of your choice.
  • Additional support. Unlike traditional publishing companies, self-publishing platforms can guide and support you throughout every step of the publishing process.
  • User-friendly. Self-publishing platforms have an easy-to-use interface, making it easier for you to upload your manuscripts.
  • Wider audience. Working with a self-publishing platform allows you to market your book to a larger audience.

With a self-publishing platform, you get access to high quality services and greater control over your book distribution. You also get customized guidance for every part of the publishing process.

 However, not every self-publishing platform is created equal.

Let’s take a look at some of the cons.

Disadvantages of Using a Self-Publishing Platform

When working with a self-publishing platform, you could come into some issues like:

  • High costs. Some self-publishing platforms may require you to forfeit a certain percentage of your royalties upfront.
  • Limited customer support. Each platform is different and may not offer the same guidance for each service. PublishDrive, for example, does not assist authors with their formatting.
  • Issues with user-friendly experience. Again, some platforms have better user-friendly experience than others. The user interface can be more difficult to navigate based on the platform.
  • Limited marketing support. Some platforms may have marketing strategies for only digital platforms. Any other forms of marketing – bookstore signings and third-party testimonials – may have to be done by the author.
  • Lack of customer service. If something goes wrong in the publishing process, you want to be able to work with an efficient customer service system. Some self-publishing platforms may not have an easy customer service option available.

Choosing The Best Platform For You

Now that you know the pros and cons of working with a self-publishing platform, what’s next? Should you work with a self-publishing platform or not?

Here are some practical steps that can help making your decision easier for you.

List Your Top Priorities

What are some things that matter most to you? Do you want to keep most of your royalties? Do you want 100% creative control over your work?

Will you need help with each step of the publishing process or just a few? Is convenient customer service something that’s important to you?

These are some factors that you want to consider. Knowing this information will help you get the most out of whatever publishing platform you choose to work with.

Make a List of the Services You Need For Your Book

After making a list of your priorities, think about the services that you’ll need for your book. You don’t have to use the self-publishing platform for each step of the publishing process if you don’t want to.

There are some authors who use self-publishing platforms for marketing purposes only. Some also need assistance with other steps like formatting and cover design.

Whatever your case, be clear about the type of services you’ll need for your book. If you want to be cost effective, look at each service and consider which can be done by you.

Review Past Testimonials

Most importantly, check the past testimonials of each self-publishing platform.

Testimonials are the fairest way to judge a business’s performance. They tell an accurate story of a business’s past and current practices.

When reading testimonials, pay attention to the time at which it was published. If a negative review was published a couple months ago, chances are that you could run into the same problems.

Equally important, read a balanced amount of testimonials. Don’t base the credibility of a self-publishing platform on just one negative review.

Consider all of the positive and negative feedback before coming to a decision.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right self-publishing platform for you can make or break your publishing process.

It can make your process easier or harder. Before thinking about working with a self-publishing platform, keep the following things in mind:

  • There are several pros to using this kind of platform (greater control of your work, royalties, and marketing options)
  • There are several cons that come with this kind of platform (limited customer support, difficult user-friendly experience, and lack of customer service)
  • Being clear on your priorities can make it easier to choose the right platform for you.

For more information on the self-publishing process, check out my blog post Can Self-Publishing Really Work For You? – Valeria Publications

Are you thinking about working with a self-publishing platform? Share your thoughts below.

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