So How Hard is Self-Publishing Books Anyway?

By: Ebonye Gussine Wilkins

I’ve noticed that whenever someone hears about an author self-publishing a book, there seems to be an automatic side-eye that appears. There is definitely a stigma about self-publishing books, but as more and more quality authors appear, it feels a lot more do-able to other writers. Some people self-publish for the accomplishment of it, while others to it to bring in more money via sales. However, there are a lot of self-published authors who are not bringing in sales. While there are a lot of reasons for not bringing in a lot of sales, that’s not what the focus of this post it. There is a lot of work that goes into self publishing, and without a team, the work load becomes a true burden.

I’m going to tell you the dirty truth of self-publishing. It is a lot of work. There is no getting around it if you want quality results. You have to wear a lot of hats in self-publishing, and you have to either be really good at them or have a team that you can rely on.

The hats you will need to wear at a self-publishing author:

  • Marketing guru: You need to know who your target audience is, and find out where they are.
  • PR manager: Know in advance what face you want to give the public, and hold yourself accountable.
  • Branding genius: Know who you are and give that to people. You aren’t an author anymore, you are a distinct, recognizable brand. Or, if you are doing branding correctly, you should be.
  • Relentless networker: Long-gone are the days of getting to hide away in a cabin and drink coffee and write the days away. There is no publisher doing the work for you. You have to do everything yourself. That includes talking to people outside of your editor.

There are hats that you should avoid wearing as a self-publishing author:

This is your vision, and this is your writing. If you are committed to making this book work for you, then go for it. The only person stopping you from doing this is you, so go for it. Self-publishing can be liberating when done the right way, so go free yourself!

Have you considered self-publishing? If so, what was the best part of it? What was the worst part of it?

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