What I have learned about publishing independently.
There are several things we need to decide, when making up our minds whether to self-publish. My next series of blog posts will attempt to summarise what I have learned about publishing independently.
There are a series of basic questions that need to be answered before we even think of publishing a book.
~ Have we got the time to do some research – aka read some books about publishing – that will help us decide what our priorities are, for example, whether we want to outsource cover design and formatting, and if so, how much we are prepared to invest in this? The cost of services on offer to prospective publishers is as variable as weather on a spring day, so reading about and researching the various options is vital.
~ Do we have a regular income that will support the initial outlay of publishing? Unless we are able to source the expenses of editing, proofing, ISBNs, typesetting, formatting, imagery and cover design at low cost, some of these will crop up. Yes, some platforms allow authors to publish for free, but it is really vital, when learning about costs, to appreciate what that means. For example, if we publish on major virtual platforms for free, the platform will usually allocate to our e-books the equivalent of an e-ISBN number, which means that effectively, the platform becomes our publisher of that e-book.
~ The financial implications of publishing are not always obvious at the outset, so it is vital to be aware that the cost of services that are offered to would-be publishers can vary from several hundred to several thousand pounds. Do research the markets and options carefully.
~ Do we have time to write and edit endlessly, until we have a good enough book? There is no-one else out there setting our publishing deadlines or chivvying us up to get stuff sorted and sent. We become our own diary keepers and deadline setters.
~ Are we interested in writing, publishing and promoting? Because if we are going to be publishing, we need a good enough product, which means that writing and editing will come to the fore. Thereafter, promotion will be part of what we do, which will, of necessity, eat into our writing time. But each of these has its part to play. So decide which, at any given time, is your priority, and don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it all, all the time.
Thanks so much for reading.