Self Publishing: For and Against I Oxford Open Learning

Self Publishing: For and Against

With companies such as Amazon KDP and Createspace making self publishing more accessible all the time, the number of books being published directly onto Kindle (and other download mediums), is increasing by the thousand every week.

The publishing market is extremely competitive, and for those who dream of having a book published one day, it is becoming harder than ever to secure an agent and/or a publisher. By using self publishing, anyone anywhere can – usually at no cost- self publish their own work. There are, however, many pluses and minuses that should be taken into consideration before you take the self publishing route.


1. You have complete control over your own work, without being subject to any changes a publisher/editor would wish to make.

2. All the royalties earned would go to you, without a large percentage going to a publisher/agent.

3. You can market your work where and when you like.

4. You have complete control over the look of your work, including the font size, cover, style and design.

5. Many new authors use self publishing as a stepping stone on the road to finding an established publisher. If you produce a well made, edited, product and manage to get sales and good reviews, then a publisher may pick up your work from the Internet.


1. The self publishing process can be complicated. It is wise to pay someone to help you set up your work the first time you do it.

2. All the marketing is down to you. With thousands of new self published books hitting Amazon every week, it takes a great deal of time to market enough to make sure your work is not lost in the flood of new releases. It is essential you have time to spend on social media promoting your product every day.

3. It costs a lot of money to get adverts on enough book sites to make sure you make sales. Many new writers make the mistake of thinking that once they have written their book their work is done. In fact all writers spend as much time marketing as they do writing.

4.There are no editors in self publishing, which means it is essential to pay someone to edit for you. A vast number of self published books remain unedited, and therefore rarely sell well.

5. You need to be careful that any marketing sites you pay to advertise your work, actually do what you are paying them for – a great many are less than reliable.

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Dr Kathryn Bates is a graduate of archaeology and history. She has excavated across the world as an archaeologist, and tutored medieval history at Leicester University. She joined the administrative team at Oxford Open Learning twelve years ago. Alongside her distance learning work, Dr Bates is a bestselling novelist, and an itinerant creative writing tutor for primary school children.

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