Self-Publishing Doesn’t Mean Authors Have to Do Everything by Themselves
Drucilla Shultz wrote an interesting piece over at Publishers Weekly last month, which featured author Roz Siegal. In the article, Roz described her experiences of self-publishing and advised authors to not feel like they need to do everything themselves.
In Roz’s words:
“Hire professionals to help you in all aspects—especially for your jacket. Self-publishing does not mean you do everything yourself. Publishers hire editors, designers, and publicists for good reason. There are many experienced freelance editors, book designers, and jacket designers who now make a living as consultants to authors who want to self-publish. For fiction writers in particular, it is extremely helpful to hire readers/editors to give you feedback on whether or not your book is making sense. It is important to pay them for their expertise—and for their ability to tell the truth, regardless if it will hurt your feelings. Asking your mother, husband, or best friend to comment will get you nowhere.”
Read the whole article here.
What Roz says is true. Getting help in those areas where an author is not an expert will help in creating a book or an ebook that looks, feels and reads like a quality product. Authors need to think of self-publishing as an entrepreneurial activity because that is just what it is. When any business wants to introduce a new product, a budget needs to be created that lists all expected expenses. The same principle applies with a book. If an author has savings to cover these costs, then this will certainly be helpful.
However, what about the entrepreneurial-author who hardly has any money? In such a scenario, he/she will need to raise some money. The alternative is to develop skills (e.g. editing, cover design) in order to get that first book to market. Entrepreneurs in general think they can do everything by themselves and at the start and with limited funds this may be a necessity. However, as one becomes more experienced in business, one realizes one’s real strengths and interests. It is at this time, that one decides there are certain things better skilled people should take a care of, while the individual plays to his/her strengths. Hopefully by that time, an author will have made income and profit, which can be used to hire experts needed to create better books and ebooks.