Updated: Jan 9
Professional book editor in the UK explains why self-publishing your novel really isn't the cheaper option if done properly!
Self-publishing has absolutely taken the world by storm with more and more aspiring authors stepping away from traditional publishing and opting for the independent route.
Some indie authors find success selling multiple copies a month and allowing themselves to write full-time, but other self-publishers struggle like hell to sell just one book, let alone enough to earn a living.
So, what separates the successful indie authors from the ones who sadly end up falling behind?
It's understanding that self-publishing isn't the cheaper option.
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Not all, but SOME writers decide to self-publish because they think they can keep ultimate control over their story AND earn 70% royalties without spending a dime. While this is technically true, self-publishing a book without investing money into it won't get you very far.
You may believe that you can produce and market the entire book yourself, but your dream is to become an AUTHOR, right? So why would you convince yourself that you can carry out a developmental edit, a line edit, a copy edit, a proofread AND design the cover, format the inside, and promote the book with several different marketing strategies?!
Yes, self-publishing does make you an "indie" author, but that doesn't literally mean that you have to do EVERYTHING yourself - it just means that you don't have an agent representing you or a publishing team behind you.
So, you need to find the relevant professionals who can help you to produce a book worth selling, and you need to treat your novel like a product.
Related Post: How to be Taken Seriously as an Indie Author
Think of it this way, you wouldn't expect an architect to build the house brick-by-brick, add the roof, fit the windows and doors, wire in the plumbing and electricity, add the insulation, lay the flooring, paint the interior AND sell the house!
Because an architect's job is to design the building, just like an author's job is to write the story.
By doing everything else on top of the actual writing, you're only harming your book's potential, which is why it's important to understand that self-publishing isn't the cheap option if you truly want to be successful.
Think about how unsafe buildings would be if we expected architects to construct them. Yes, they could probably learn by doing it, but the end result would be much better if qualified construction workers, plumbers, electricians and interior designers took over.
So, which services should you pay for throughout your self-publishing journey?
A professional book editor who can spot issues you've probably missed or overlooked.
A cover designer - please don't just rely on Canva, InDesign or Photoshop to create your own book cover. If you have zero experience with book cover design, you need to hire a professional for the best results!
A formatter - some editors may know how to format manuscripts for publishing, so if you have no clue how to do it properly, hire someone!
Marketing experts - you don't need to hire a whole team to promote your book for you, but if you want to sell more copies, receive more reviews and boost your book closer to the bestseller list, it'll help you tenfold if you invest in marketing. This could be paid ads on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest, a marketing course, or you could hire a professional marketing strategist to help you create a marketing plan.
I know a lot of people say they can't afford all these services, hence why they're opting for the indie publishing route, but it just leads me back to the point of this post - self-publishing isn't the cheaper option if you're serious about making money from your books.
The best way around it is to save up, save up some more, and save up even more.