The Downsides of Self-Publishing

downsides of self-publishing

We have heard how great self-publishing is. It can give you control over your book and, at the same time, increase your profits. But is this too good to be true? Are there any downsides or disadvantages to self-publishing? Of course, there are! 


If you decide to self-publish, you should be ready to multitask. Traditional publishers have editors, printers, layout artists, and cover artists who are available and ready to work for them anytime. But with self-publishing, you would have to manage all this alone. If you do not have the skillsets needed to do all these things in a professional manner, you should hire someone who can meet your standards. 


Time could also be a major problem for some self-published authors. Some writers have full-time jobs, forcing them to fit self-publishing into their schedules. Remember, there are many components, including a marketing plan. You need to make time to complete all these tasks to publish. 


In traditional publishing, the writer would get as much as 5 to 10 % of the sales. But you can increase the profit to as much as 50% with self-publishing. But the downside is that you would have to front the cost for all services ahead of time. It is a risk. You can spend about $5,000 on self-publishing services, but there is no guarantee that you will sell enough units to cover the cost. 

Consider using a distributor or a publishing platform. Many booksellers are not willing to buy books directly from the author. Additionally, some bookstores will return the books that do not sell and ask for a refund. Some self-publishers draft contracts that do not allow returns or refunds, but many bookstores will require that it be included. 

Competition can be tough. You must be sure that you give readers a reason to buy your book. Marketing and publicity is key. And of course, you will have to spend money on that too. 


A common problem that self-publishers encounter is the reputation and credibility of being self-published. Some readers do not regard self-published books very highly. Sad to say, some believe that if an author is not backed by a major publishing house, it means the book is not good enough. 


They say that a book is like a writer’s own child. It would be difficult to criticize and disparage your own child, right? I know it is hard for me to speak against my daughter, Paris. In the same way, it is sometimes difficult for authors to be objective all the time. 

Some authors tend to protect parts of their manuscripts that are not really important or aesthetically weak. They can have difficulties letting go of insignificant characters or chapters. That is why we have editors, book reviewers, and beta readers – to obtain an unbiased critique of our work. 

If you have never published before and need assistance, please check out I A.M. Editing, Ink at to get started. We look forward to collaborating with you. 

Adrienne Michelle Horn is the owner of I A.M. Editing, Ink. Although she has a full-time professional career in healthcare, she is also a South Florida-based editor, poet, author, entrepreneur, and mother of her beautiful daughter, Paris.

For more information about Adrienne and her company, follow I A.M. Editing, Ink on social media or visit