Measure twice. Cut once. Perfect, right?
Not really my style, although sometimes I like to fool myself into thinking so. Even though I don’t follow football as much as 99 percent of the world does, I am still the quintessential Monday (or Tuesday) morning quarterback. It’s pretty easy to say what should have happened once it’s happened and fairly easy to say how things should happen before they do.
Self-publishing? Piece of cake.
Watch out for cake.
When we bought our first house, there were a few things that needed fixing. Little things.
Want it fixed? Easy. Piece of cake.
Four years later, I had two things. An awesome set of tools and the knowledge that I should NEVER take on a house refurbishment project. No matter how big or small.
I was SICK of cake.
How does that apply to self-publishing? Based on your talents and time, there are some things you should do by yourself. And, like the home improvement example, there are a lot of times (again, based on your talents) that you should just call a guy. Or a girl. You may be a great writer, but if your graphic design talent falls off directly after stick figures, buying services of an appropriate artist (preferably a starving one) makes a lot of sense. More time to write. Right?
So here’s the self-publishing lesson for folks like me who have little to no time to dedicate to our writing craft: focus on what you know. Outsource what you don’t. Like it or not, self-publishing in the new world of self-publishing is not free. And while, in most of the products, you can exchange money for time, if you have it, some things are absolutely worth the financial investment.
Finished your book and ready to upload to Amazon or Barnes and Noble? Great. Do it. Don’t expect your sales to skyrocket. Nothing personal. It’s just business.
Lots of lessons can be learned from now successful authors for about the same cost as the price of a fancy coffee. Take advantage. Opt for an espresso and buy the book. Read about how you can benefit from avoiding their screw-ups. That’s measuring twice. That’s cutting the cake in half.
Do I take my own advice? Not usually. That’s one of my endearing traits.
Bottom line: Self-publishing isn’t free. There’s a lot more depth to the larger process than first meets the eye. Here’s a list of things you WANT to consider paying for:
1. Expert books. Successful authors offer lessons on just about everything. I share my list here.
2. Software. You be your own judge, but here’s my list.
3. Cover design. Unlike what we learned in grade school. People DO judge a book by its cover. Don’t go cheap on yourself here.
4. Website. This means service, domain, and website construction.
5. IBSNs. Do the research and watch out for buying these second-hand.
6. Education courses. Writing, Marketing, Design. Read the reviews. Invest in yourself.