When you self-publish, you get to have the final say in any decisions about your book: cover art, formatting, publication date, etc. And in addition to taking on all these responsibilities, you also take on all the costs. So when a company promises “free” self-publishing, a budget-conscious writer may break out in a happy dance. But don’t put on those dancing shoes yet, because so-called “free” self-publishing may not be the bargain it seems to be—and you may end up with a book you’re unhappy with.
The Facts About “Free” Self-Publishing Every Author Should Know
Good quality is not guaranteed. Attention to details will determine whether your book seems amateurish or professional. When free self-publishing companies cut corners or are just careless, your print book copies may come with cheap paper, smudged ink, or uneven margins. And a poor-quality book signals to readers that the writing may be poor quality as well—a message you definitely don’t want to send.
Few cover design choices. With thousands of traditionally published and self-published books hitting the shelves every year, the market is incredibly crowded and competitive for every genre. And let’s face it: Readers DO judge books by their covers—so you need a cover that makes your book stand out. Unfortunately, a bland, generic cover design may be all you’ll get from a free self-publishing deal.
No proofreading services available. Ah, typos—the bane of a writer’s existence. Even the most eagle-eyed writers might miss some typos in their own books. And a free self-publisher is unlikely to provide proofreading services. Readers hate typos, but love pointing them out—and one too many typos will fuel the bad reviews you’re trying to avoid.
EXPERT TIP: Always, always have your manuscript professionally proofread before you self-publish your book. If the self-publishing company you’re using doesn’t offer proofreading services, then hire an independent proofreader to check your book before you begin the publishing process.
Limited distribution options. You may want help getting your books into brick-and-mortar stores—many indie authors do. But free self-publishing companies won’t provide this additional distribution option at no cost. In addition, a free self-publisher may not offer expanded distribution for your e-book or print-on-demand book.
No marketing assistance. Many independent authors think the hardest part of their job is done once their books are self-published—but in truth, their work is only just beginning. Even the best, most unique book in the world won’t sell without an active marketing campaign! Writers unfamiliar with the business side of promoting a book will probably want some help. Free self-publishing companies don’t include free marketing—but they’re happy to sell you some marketing “upgrades”!
Hard-to-reach or nonexistent customer support. Self-publishing can seem complicated, even for the most tech-savvy writer. Baffled by self-publishing jargon? Trying and failing to make temperamental self-publishing software work for you? Confused about ISBNs? A free self-publishing company may have an FAQ page covering the bare bones of any questions you may have. But don’t expect to talk to a real person with real answers. In fact, you’ll be lucky if you can even find a customer service phone number on their website!
Find The Right Help To Self-Publish Your Book
You only get one chance to make a great first impression—it’s not worth sacrificing your readership, your reputation, or your own pride in your book just to save a few bucks.
Don’t take on the task of self-publishing alone. Instead, find a company like Self-Publishing Relief to help you with the entire publishing process, from manuscript to a book you can be proud to put your name on—without breaking the bank! We have packages to suit every budget, and we’ll guide you every step of the way. Set up a FREE consultation call with our self-publishing experts today!
QUESTION: What do you most need help with in the self-publishing process?