Lately, a lot of my friends have been opting to self publish, some after a lot of querying and hard work, and some a month or two after they wrote the book. I feel like self publishing has a little bit of a bad rep in the book world, mostly because a lot of people consider it to be cheating, both because of the easy, quick publishing time, and because there’s no one really to make sure you’ve edited enough. So today I thought I’d go through some of the things you should do before self-publishing, and highlight some people who have done it successfully.
Here’s the skinny: If you’re going to self publish and you want your book to be read and appreciated, you’re going to need to put some money done. The truth of the matter is that nothing important is easy.
The first thing you’re going to need to look into is an editor. If you put your naked(unedited) manuscript out there, you will regret it. While I don’t have experience with hiring or finding an editor, there are tons of people who do, so ask around.
Beta readers are also a viable option, though they do tend to not catch as many important details as a professional editor would. The incentive of the beta reader is that they’re cheap, so you don’t have to put down a chunk of money for some much-needed insight.
INVEST IN A COVER DESIGNER. The first thing potential readers are going to see is your cover. People are already super wary of self published books, so your cover has got to win them over. I would suggest hiring a professional to design your cover, because, let’s be honest, not a lot of people fall in love with books whose covers were made with the Paint app on your Dell. I do want to give a tutorial sometime on designing your own cover and making it look professional, but for now, here’s my nugget of wisdom: hire a professional. the outcome will be so worth it.
Self promote like a crazy person. I know this kind of goes without saying, but books don’t sell themselves. Dance, scream, use smoke signals; just get that book out there. offer up e-copies to readers. Look into the pricing to get your book on sites like Netgalley and Edelweiss. It may not happen overnight, but it will pay off.
So now that I’ve talked about a few things you really should and probably need to do before you self publish, I’m going to talk about a few people who have self published or are in the process of doing so who done things on this list and it’s paying off for them.
I’m ridiculously proud of Sierra and everything happening around this book. She announced that she was self publishing in September of 2016 and since then she has had 3,000 people marking her book “want to read” on Goodreads. The Color Project is publishing in July of 2017 (please correct me if I’m wrong! Thought it was November before but I think she changed it) This book is definitely amazing.
I’m not going to talk about what this book is about, but the cover is stunning, the writing is impeccable, and the story is just so good. This is a prime example of self publishing done right!
You’ve probably heard of this last one. It was self-published by booktubing coauthors Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg and not long after being released it reaching the New York Times Bestsellers list AND got picked up by a traditional publisher.
So after all this you’re probably wondering; am I for or against self publishing? If you do it right, I think it’s an amazing idea. Just don’t waste your debut if you’re not willing to put in hard work and money to make it possible.
So: self publishing… what are your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Are you for or against it?