Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Is Self-Publishing Really A Do It Yourself Proposition?

Are you a writer who’s rejected the idea of offering your work to a traditional publishing house?

Do you believe you can do everything it takes to self-publish?

Now, be honest with yourself—you can actually accomplish Everything it takes to publish and distribute a book?

If your answer was yes, you can stop reading this post :-)

If you’re a writer who knows the traditional route is not for you and you also know you’re going to need help with self-publishing, you’ll need to find other people who can help—Publishing-Aid Folks.

When I self-published my last book, I did the cover, I located a graduate student in English to help with editing, and I used the Publishing-Aid Company FastPencil for book production and distribution—total cost, $300.

Of course, there’s the whole issue of promoting the book… <— there are 31 posts at that link.

Some writers may be able to spend a lot and some are on a tight budget but, if you need help with All  aspects of self-publishing, you’ll appreciate a three-part article by Suw Charman-Anderson.

Here’s a bit of her bio:

[She’s] “…the former Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, a campaign group based in London. She is also a journalist, social software consultant, blogger and public speaker.”

And, here are the links to her article:

An Introduction To Author Services, Part 1

Author Services Part 2: Choosing Who To Work With

Author Services Part 3: Marketing And Promotion

Now, for a few excerpts from that three-parter (to encourage you to go read it):

“Any self-published author knows just how much hard work goes into preparing a book for publication and how many new skills authors need to develop if they are going to truly do everything themselves.”

“There are a lot of freelance professionals out there who have the skills and experience to help you create the very best book you can and bring it to market in a timely fashion. Many authors rely on finding individual freelancers that they can work with, often via their own contacts.”

“But how do you choose an author services company or a freelance to work with? How much does it cost? And how do you need to adjust your processes to work with editors and other services?”

“It’s also important to prepare emotionally for your collaboration with editorial professionals.”

“We’re not necessarily a gregarious bunch, us writers, and I would bet that most of us would happily pay someone else to do our marketing and promotion for us, if we could. But is it worth it? And what, out of all the things you could pay for,  should you pay for?”

“It also helps to think about your goals in the short, medium and long term.”

There is much detail and many examples in Ms. Charman-Anderson’s article.

Check it out and then come on back and share your thoughts and feeling in the Comments :-)

And, in case you haven’t considered how much money you can make being an Indie Author, do go read this post by my friend, Angela Yuriko Smith: The truth about author earnings.
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
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11 responses to “Is Self-Publishing Really A Do It Yourself Proposition?

  1. Tomas Karkalas August 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Promoting a book…selling the pictures…- I hide myself in art therapy where the failures gather to muse on life for a free.


  2. Angela Yuriko Smith August 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Great post as always Alexander… and thank you for including me :) I’m off to read what Suw Charman-Anderson has to say! You always have so much good info to share…


  3. Andy Shackcloth August 8, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Nope you can’t do it all on your own, but then for most people that is the only option they have. The pond we are in has far bigger earning potential fish that attract the publishers attention and money.

    Maybe the situation now is that new authors have to try the indie route in order to find out just what business they are in and what it demands for a book to be successful.
    Also for them to find out if they have what it takes to “get out there and do it”.
    After going indie they may have gained enough of a platform and business acumen to begin to attract the attention of a publisher. Note: I didn’t say writing ability, for the publishers it is earning potential that is the deciding factor.

    As for royalties of cents in the dollar from large sales, paid AFTER promotional fees have been deducted, restrictive contracts and seemingly unfair rights clauses, vs. higher percentage indie margins but on far smaller sales volumes… well I’ll leave that for others to expand on.


    • Alexander M Zoltai August 8, 2013 at 11:41 am

      Well, Andy, when one looks at the aggregate earnings for “all” writers, most earn less then $500 per book—including those published by the traditional houses.

      Just like the news makes folks think there are more wars and fires and robberies then there really are, the book news makes folks think that Most writers can make a decent living from their art


  4. Pingback: Having Fun While You Write | Notes from An Alien

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