Welcome to the 4-week series, How to Self-Publish and Get the Results You Want. After several writing friends asked me about my process for self-publishing my recent book, I decided to compile all I learned here in one convenient place. Feel free to save the links and refer back to them as needed.
I am going to keep this series as streamlined as possible, without any extra fluff. My goal is to give you helpful tips and articles you can use, should you decide self-publishing is right for you.
If you have a Pinterest account, I suggest starting a Pinterest board and pinning all related links there. It will be just like a virtual file folder of information! Click here to follow my self-publishing board on Pinterest. Many of the articles I used in my research can be found there.
I’d like to begin by clearing up one, big misconception…
SELF-PUBLISHING AND HIRING A SELF-PUBLISHING COMPANY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.
When people find out that I self-published my book, the first question I get is this: “Who did you use to self-publish?”
My answer? I didn’t hire a company. There are many reputable companies out there that do an outstanding job, but self-publishing without hiring a company to oversee the project is another avenue for getting your book out to the public. That is the process I will be discussing in this series.
How do I decide if self-publishing is right for me?
My introduction to this idea came from attending Erin Ulrich’s session at She Speaks 2015 titled, Considering Self-Publishing. This session opened my eyes to amazing possibilities. To begin the session, Erin outlined the pros and cons of self-publishing to help us evaluate whether it was right for us. Click here to read Erin’s list of 5 Reasons Self-Publishing Might Be the Best Move You Can Make.
The above reasons are the beginning of a fabulous series on her blog called 31 Days of Self-Publishing. Click the title to access the series. Before deciding whether or not to self-publish, I suggest reading this series. She answers many questions about the process.
From my own experience, there are three things you need to be ready for if you choose this path:
1. Be sure you have ample time to devote to the publishing side.
For me, this involved scheduling time each week to read articles, ask questions, and learn about the process WHILE writing the book. I wanted to be ready to publish as soon as the book was finished, without having a long wait time in between.
This is one of the perks of self-publishing. You don’t have the usual 12-18 months from finished book to published work.
2. Be confident with your choice.
People often ask me, “What is your book about?”
But I also get this question. “Who is your publisher?”
When we choose to self-publish, we have to let go of the stigma that our self-published work is somehow not worthy of traditional publishing.
Erin Ulrich says, “Self-publishing is no longer just a Plan B for those who do not receive traditional publishing contracts.”
Still, it can damage your confidence when you feel like you have to explain to everyone why you chose to self-publish. Once you make your choice, move forward with confidence as God directs your path.
3. Be ready to research, read, and study A LOT.
Learning something new requires a commitment. And just like any other new task, self-publishing requires research. Yes, you can do it. Technology today gives us everything we need to make our writing accessible to the public. But we must make sure we have time to devote to learning the process.
Erin’s book, Self-Publish: Moving from Idea to Product, walks through the beginning steps of preparing a book for self-publishing. Once I decided to self-publish, I purchased that book. It is full of valuable information, worksheets, and additional resources.
Self-publishing is, in essence, cutting out the middle-man. In order to do that, I had to jump into the learning curve with excitement and be willing to make mistakes along the way. But the end result would be up to me, which made it totally worth it.
Next week, I will cover the following topics:
How much does it cost? (Setting a budget)
Deciding which tasks to contract out to the professionals
Links to cover designers, formatters, and editors
To have each post in this series delivered to your inbox, click here. If you have any questions about today’s post, please feel free to comment below. I’m happy to answer!