Why Do I Self-Publish?





Today I’m delighted to welcome Ben Galley to the site, a fellow indie author who’s making great strides in the self-publishing world. It’s a pleasure to have him share his input, so let’s see why he self-publishes. Over to you, Ben.


Self-publishing is a powerful buzzword at the moment. It’s on the lips of authors, readers, publishers, and writers alike. Even the average Joe or Josephine on the street, wandering through the bookshop, will be curious what all the fuss is about. You can imagine, then, how many times an author like me, an author who’s often out and about signing books or giving talks, gets asked the above question!

Being asked so many times, you get thinking about the answers you’re giving. So, why did I self-publish? Here are my reasons:


Self-publishing puts the power in my hands:

I like control. I like to be in charge of my own success. You could call me an entrepreneur or a control freak, I call it being self-employed and self-sufficient. Whatever you call it, self-publishing gives authors a huge amount of control over what and how they publish, especially when compared to traditional publishing.

With a traditional publishing house you exchange the rights to your books for an advance. As you no longer hold the rights, that removes a lot of your control and ‘say’ in what happens with your books. This could mean cover, content, price, royalty, and a whole range of other things. Personally, the idea of that, even in exchange for an advance, worries me. I don’t think I would be content. With self-publishing, however, I’m in control of all of it.

It may be a lot more hard work and a lot of responsibility for some, but for me, it’s perfect.


Self-publishing usually gets me 100% of my royalties:

Instead of having an advance, we survive off a different financial model. By retaining all our rights, and going direct to eBook stores such as Amazon or Kobo, who provide their own publishing platforms, we’re given the option of retaining huge portions of our royalties – 60, 70, 80, even 100% isn’t uncommon.

That’s a royalty rate most traditional authors can’t get their hands on. It’s a model that suits me just fine. It’s a long tail method, meaning that I’m choosing long term, monthly income instead of an initial cash injection. It can be regular and steady and perfectly adequate… if you play it right.


I Self-publish because I can:

The final, and in my opinion best reason, is of course – “why the hell not?” For the first time in history market forces and technology have given authors a new and exciting gift – an option.

I’ve got nothing against the big publishing houses, don’t get me wrong. They do a great job, but I’m not going to lie about it being hard to break into them. It’s notoriously hard. Self-publishing isn’t an easier path, but it’s a path nonetheless, a path that we didn’t have until recently.

If there’s another path, one equally as viable, then why shouldn’t I take it, instead of letting my books fade into anonymity? I owe it to my books, I owe it to myself, and I owe it to my would-be readers.


Those are my top three reasons for self-publishing. There are many more – like being nimble in the face of change, being able to organise my own events and tours, or publishing on my own timescale with no deadlines but my own. Even just being able to write what I want, how I want…that’s a huge perk.

My question to you is – what is, or what will, your reason for self-publishing be? Let’s get sharing.

Ben Galley – @BenGalley

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