Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing In Australia

Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing In Australia

What are the pros and cons of self-publishing in Australia?


So, what are the pros and cons of self-publishing in Australia? Good question. Great question.

For many writers and aspiring authors, this question will be the first serious question they consider after they finish writing their book. Should you pursue a deal with a traditional publisher or go it alone via the self-published route?

If you’re a new author or you’re currently writing your first book, then it’s essential to consider the pros and cons of self-publishing in Australia before you make your choice.

When it comes to self-publishing platforms, check out this article on the best self-publishing platforms to publish your book! In the following article, we’ll look at:

    • What Is Self-Publishing?
    • Famous Self-Published Authors
    • 4 Pros of Self-Publishing
    • 4 Cons of Self-Publishing


What Is Self-Publishing?

Self-publishing refers to an author completing the publishing process, including writing, editing, formatting, cover design, publishing, and marketing, either by themselves or with the assistance of self-publishing service providers – such as Author Services Australia. We help Australian authors self-publish their books by providing editing, formatting, cover design, uploading, and marketing services.

You can learn more about self-publishing in this article: What Is the Self-Publishing Process?

Yes, you are still considered a self-published author or indie author, even if you get professional help with some aspects of your book.

It’s also important to note that I’m a self-published author who has never really considered or tried to go the traditionally published route. I know some authors who have started as self-published authors and tried traditional publishing, only to return to self-publishing their books. While others have switched to traditional publishing and never looked back.

To get an idea of how other authors felt, I went onto social media to get some opinions. This is what some other authors had to say about their experience with self-publishing and traditional publishing:

Author Jenny Sandiford

Author Sabina Millar

Author Julia Blake - Self-Publishing In Australia

Author Chantal Agapiti

Author Jennifer Ott

Author Miki Taylor

Author Julie A Thompson - Self-Publishing In Australia

Author S. Roit



Famous Self-Published Authors

They’re not alone, either. Many famous authors are either self-published or switch between self-publishing and traditional publishing.

According to the Alliance of Independent Authors, there are quite a few famous authors who chose to go the self-published route, including:

Author EL James

Author EL JamesEL James originally wrote 50 Shades of Grey as a fan fiction piece based on Twilight. After tweaking the story and changing some names, she self-published the first book in the trilogy. With the undeniable success of book one, she received a traditional publishing deal, and the series went on to sell over 100,000,000 copies and join the ranks as one of the fastest-selling paperbacks in the world.

The only way to discover your own limits is by pushing past them. – Author EL James


Author Margaret Atwood – Canadian author Margaret Atwood saw massive success in publishing her book, The Handmaid’s Tale. She also self-published an award-winning poetry book, Double Persephone.

“There are no guarantees in the world of art. You can do all the work, make a wonderful book or painting or piece of music, and sometimes, it disappears into the void. – Author Margaret Atwood”


Author Andy Weir – A long time before The Martian, starring actor Matt Damon, hit the silver screen, author Andy Weir sat waiting to pull the trigger on his manuscript. After slowly releasing some smaller parts of his book and seeing the interest grow, he decided to self-publish The Martian and became an Amazon bestselling author. Pretty quickly, he signed a massive publishing and film deal, and his book has sold over three million copies worldwide.

“You want an audience. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be a writer. The biggest motivation to write is the knowledge that someone will read it. – Author Andy Weir”


4 Pros of Self-Publishing

Regardless of what you are writing or in what genre, be it science fiction, romance, fantasy, or erotica, just to name a few, the self-publishing process will give you maximum creative control over your book.

It’s also going to give you the maximum share of royalties. However, you’ll also be covering all the costs associated with self-publishing, which can be fairly high depending on what you can do yourself or what you hire a professional for.

A small note here. If you choose to hire a professional cover designer, editor, or formatter to format your book, listen to the advice they give you. While there is a lot of flexibility in the design aspects, there are also some fairly firm formatting and editing rules that shouldn’t be ignored. Just because you’ve seen it in another book doesn’t mean they did it right!

Be confident in your work, but be careful not to put a book out into the world until you are sure that it is your very best work and professional in all respects (writing, editing, cover design, formatting, etc.). As with anything, you get only one chance to make a first impression, and every reader deserves a quality product. – Darcie Chan


One. Self-Publishing Gives You Maximum Creative Control Over Your Book

When you self-publish your book, you have full control over the book. Part of the traditional publishing process is gatekeepers that will have opinions on the cover, content, title, and layout of your book. After all, they’re paying to publish your book and want to ensure it has the best chance of success and returns their investment.

Self-publishing allows you to have full control over your book. If the idea of someone cutting your book up to suit their requirements sounds horrifying, then the self-publishing route may be the best for you.

Two. Self-Publishing Will Give You Higher Royalties

Traditional publishing contracts typically offer authors between 7 and 25% percent of royalties. Let’s put that into perspective. If your book retails for $20, and the print and shipping costs are $15, the balance would be $5. 7-25% of $5 would be between $0.35 and $1.25.

If you self-published on Amazon KDP and listed your book for $20 and the printing and shipping costs were $15, the balance would be $5, and you would receive a royalty of 70% of that, coming out to $3.50 per book sold.

Three. Self-Publishing Is A Faster Process

Once you finish your book, it’s understandable that you want to see a physical copy or see it available for sale. The self-publishing process is fast. Much faster than traditional publishing.

If you plan your book correctly and work on different aspects simultaneously, then self-publishing once you finish won’t take long at all. Once you upload to self-publishing platforms such as Amazon KDP, your book is generally available for purchase within 3-12 hours.

Four. Self-Publishing Can Help You Make A Name For Yourself

It’s hard for any author to become a best-seller overnight, especially if it’s your first book, and even harder to get a traditional publishing deal on your first book. Even if you do manage to get a deal on your first book, the success of that book will seriously influence your future deals.

Self-publishing your book can help you create buzz around you and your work, build a name for yourself, and show potential publishers how good you are. There are a lot of successful authors who started in the self-publishing world before transitioning into a traditional publishing role.


4 Cons of Self-Publishing

We couldn’t talk about the pros of self-publishing in Australia without talking about some of the cons. How much you consider these as cons will depend on your personal opinion and experiences.

One. Self-Publishing Gives You Less Visibility

A significant advantage when you traditionally publish your book is that you’re publishing a book with an established company that already has an extensive distribution and marketing presence. Along with that, there’s also some prestige that comes from being traditionally published, more access to literary competitions, and critical acclaim.

Two. There’s Higher Costs with Self-Publishing

A deal with a traditional publishing company means you’re not paying for editing, cover design, formatting, or marketing. When you self-publish, you’re responsible for all of those costs. However, don’t think for a moment that traditional publishing companies aren’t going to try and recoup the costs of their investment. They’ll make their money back through a greater share of any potential royalties.

Also, that advance or book signing deal that sounds so good; is your money anyway. Remember, it’s called an advance for a reason. Your author advance is an advance on future royalties you may earn. You won’t get any royalties until you have covered your initial advance.

Three. No Support System for Self-Publishing

A big difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing is the support you receive. When you’re working with a traditional publishing company, you’re getting access to a full team of people to help you. However, if you self-publish, you’re going to be doing a lot of work yourself.

However, I have to point out that along with providing self-publishing services to Australian authors, we also offer support. It’s not uncommon for us to help authors with marketing questions, uploading questions, and troubleshooting problems as they navigate the self-publishing journey.

So, yes, technically, you’re on your own. However, if you work with a good service provider, you’re always going to get access to support and assistance.

Four. Greater Access to Physical Distribution

Self-publishing a book can get your book into many of the world’s biggest bookstores, but it doesn’t guarantee you a space on the shelf. You may be listed with Dymocks or another bookstore, but they probably won’t stock physical copies of your book unless you do a little bit of self-promotion.

That’s a significant advantage a traditional publisher has. They already have established deals with companies, guaranteed shelf space, and strategic product placement for their authors. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get your book onto shelves as a self-published author. It’s just going to take a little more work.


Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing In Australia – Conclusion

For every good story you hear about self-publishing or traditional publishing, someone has a horror story. What I consider a pro or con may be the total opposite for you. Ultimately, taking the time to research the right approach to publishing based on your requirements is the best way to choose whether you self-publish or traditionally publish your book.

Like any endeavor, self-publishing and doing it successfully requires a lot of time, research, and some level of financial investment. Be prepared to do your homework. Check out our essential author resources directory for more information and helpful blogs and articles.

If your dream is to be traditionally published and sign a book deal, then 100% go for it! Back yourself and your book, but be prepared to put a lot of time and effort into finding a book agent and securing a deal.

Be prepared to be rejected, but don’t give up if that’s the dream you’re chasing. It will take time, but if it’s your dream, it’s worth chasing.

If self-publishing is the path you want to pursue, but you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us directly.

Our friendly and professional team at Author Services Australia is happy to help! Need help with self-publishing, such as ghostwritingeditingformattingcover design, or uploading? Our experienced team is here to help.

If you need any assistance with author marketing or social media, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us directly.

Post a comment