Self Publishing Advice shoots for the moon

Self Publishing isn’t as hard as putting a man on the moon… but it’s still a LOT of work.


Here’s the plain truth. Self publishing is a LOT of work.

And the rewards can be as big as you can imagine, but are more often just under the rewards of traditional publishing…. who are all claiming to be on the brink of going-out-of-business.

As long as an author keeps the ISBN number in his or her own name, it is still Self Publishing, even if the author hires out all the editing, book design, cover, upload and marketing. But hiring it out can cost more than the book will reasonably earn… unless the author hits the big jackpot we all dream of.

And this is why I keep coming back to the suggestion of putting out more than one book, or a series, or a sequel, or a lifetime of book after book. Because doing it once is the biggest effort. Doing it again uses all of the prior work. Doing it yet again begins to make it worth it.

Once I have my first book design, I can use that as a template for the next book. Once I’ve learned the process of ISBN, Copyright, LCCN, Books In Print… I can do it again. Once I have a website, I can make a page for my new book. I can repeat my marketing efforts.

Producing a book on our own is big work if we are going to try hard to combat the main critique of self publishing, which is that self published books are poorly produced. But it can pay off. People are doing it.

But it doesn’t make money very fast, and the whole-lot-of-work doing it means that I am not writing my book when I am busy self publishing it. I think this needs to be said, needs to be taken into consideration, in any discussion of self publishing.

These are the elements of DIY self publishing that will take time, work, and sometimes – whenever there is no alternative – money:

  • Establishing a business (this isn’t hard or complicated, but it does have to be legally done. Sole proprietorship, licensed, with a name… don’t use your own name so you have flexibility…)
  • Editing, Designing, Producing a finished book
  • Paying for or DIY creating a cover and title and cover text
  • Uploading and/or printing an inventory of books
  • Marketing, getting reviews, getting distribution
  • Learning wordpress and creating a website… and set up your keywords properly… and make sure you are set up to catch passive income off your website..
  • Following through… (ebooks… make it into an ebook or start with an ebook…)
  • Writing the next book and doing it all over again

So which parts are you going to do yourself, and which are you going to hire out?
Do you have a choice?
If you have more ideas than you have money, then you are probably destined to do-it-yourself, and self publish in every sense of the word.

And this is a LOT of work, but it is not impossible. The how-to information is all out there on the web, and the costs involved for true DIY are less than a week of groceries… (depending on your culinary habits). (um, not including a short print run…)

I’m fessin’ up here… it’s a big effort. But I’m encouraging too… it’s not impossible. You can do it. Step by step and don’t give up… and write really good books.


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