Self-publishing: Challenges and Opportunities

Self-publishing, or independent publishing, is one of the fastest growing career fields. Many persons are writing now, more than ever, as a contagious writing bug is taking over most of the world. Indeed, my department receives several books monthly from self- publishers who want them to be procured for schools.

Self-publishing is the publication of any media by its author, without the involvement of an established or traditional publisher.  Self-publishing is a management function. You are responsible and in control of the entire process including planning, designing, pricing, marketing and distribution. Some authors do the publishing process all by themselves, while others outsource all, or part of the process, to companies that offer these services.

Self-publishing is not for everyone; especially those who believe that publishing a book will make them rich, and turn them into a celebrity overnight. Many will never recuperate their investment. Self-publishing however can provide you with immense opportunities if you publish wisely. Here are some of the challenges and opportunities facing self-publishers:


  1. Limited financial resources
  2. Limited human resources
  3. Lack of understanding of the publishing industry
  4. Lack of understanding of the publishing process
  5. Poorly written, designed and illustrated book
  6. Poor book marketing skills


  1. Develop your writing skills
  2. Connect with persons in the publishing field such illustrators, editors and book designers
  3. Develop an understanding of the publishing industry and the publishing process
  4. Build your ICT, marketing and planning skills
  5. Control the development of your work
  6. Explore a new career field
  7. Share a story
  8. Get exposure
  9. Own the rights to your work

If you are seriously considering self-publishing then look out for my next post titled, Self-publishing Tips: Get it Right the First Time. Don’t forget to read my previous post, 10 Great tips for first time authors.

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