4 Self-Published Book Challenges Nobody Talks About | Self-Publishing Relief

by | Goal Setting and Preparation, Self-Publishing | 2 comments

At Self-Publishing Relief, we know you’ll encounter a lot of challenges during the steps of self-publishing your book. Some will be the technical tasks and sales-building efforts you typically expect: formatting, cover design, publication, marketing, and promotion. But there are also intangible pitfalls lurking in the self-publishing process—the stuff no one talks about.

We’re here to spill the beans.

4 Under-Addressed Challenges Of Self-Publishing

Having a sense of failure. Even though self-publishing no longer carries the stigma of being the last resort for authors who can’t land a traditional publishing deal, many indie writers struggle with a sense that their writing might be considered “second-rate.” Your decision to self-publish does not make you a failure; in fact, many successful authors purposely choose this route to publication for a variety of reasons. Focus on the many advantages self-publishing offers and embrace your choice to control your publishing destiny.

Feeling illegitimate in the larger publishing industry. A related hurdle for self-publishers to clear is the Imposter Syndrome—in this case, you may feel that because you have decided to self-publish, you must not be a “real” writer, since you don’t have the so-called validation of a traditional publishing contract. Again, self-publishing has become a significant force within the publishing industry! Some self-published books have become best sellers on their own, thereby attracting the interest of the traditional publishing houses and even landing movie deals. Need an example? Check out the success story of Andy Weir’s The Martian!

If you’ve written a strong book, move forward with confidence!

Dealing with isolation. One of the biggest benefits of publishing your book independently is that you have complete control over the process. You get to choose the cover art, trim size, even paper color! But some writers may miss the feedback that comes from interacting with others. If you encounter a problem, you have to figure out a solution all by yourself. If your feelings of isolation are hampering your publication efforts, get out and connect with other indie authors! Join an association or writing group made up of other self-publishers, find a mentor who knows the self-publishing ropes, or attend a conference specifically for writers interested in self-publishing. You can also enlist the help of the experts at Self-Publishing Relief to guide you through the process and offer you advice—so you don’t have to go it alone.

Fighting envy. Because you have to give up many hours of your evenings and weekends while navigating the entire process of self-publishing your book—and possibly pay out of your own pocket for artwork, proofreading, editing, and marketing—you might find yourself stalked by the green-eyed monster, jealously assuming your colleagues with traditional publishers have it easy. But remember that your choice to self-publish doesn’t mean you have to be a lone ranger. Get help! Think like a CEO and delegate tasks that might be more effectively done by someone else, such as cover design or marketing.

Self-doubt and other negative feelings are natural; all writers experience them from time to time. Don’t suffer in silence! Talk to friends, family, and other self-publishers. By getting help and maintaining a positive attitude, you can stop these challenges from paralyzing you or bringing your self-publishing project to a standstill.


Question: What challenges have you encountered when self-publishing?


  1. Colin Coles

    Marketing has been problematical. My advice is to try your hardest to get reviews. More than anything a self-published author needs validation from people, groups, and magazines which are directly related to his or her genre. Yes, we all want to reach a mass readership, but it really is from small acorns that oak trees grow! An action, mystery novel, which appealed to former seafarers, but has subsequently found wider interest through a review four years later, is a recent example. By joining related sea organizations online interest and sales occurred. With publication of a sequel requests for copies were supplied, which led to reviews. You do need to be prepared to give away copies to organizations, which might or might not post a review? They “might” have time to get someone to read and review. Large library groups depend on outside reviews and if you can obtain reviews this boosts opportunity for them to stock your book or books or at least want to see a copy. Independents mainly have just one supplier. Again reveiws will assist in you being noticed. My latest two book publications are the first ones where organizations have messaged for copies-for possible review. First published novel was in 2014-reviews were not obtained until 2018. It’s recommended that you promote in your locality. This can be your home town, but it’s important to cultivate interest from specific genre followers-editors, publishers-romantic fiction magazines, science fiction, adventure, mystery, crime, fantasy, children’s, poetry etc… Replies/comments on Amazon are also crucial for that market. Preferably a genuine buyer and not friends from your writers group! Magazines or newspapers with a wide circulation, where editors have read your novel, then you’ve hit the bullseye in the marketing arena.

    • Blog Editor

      Hi Colin,
      Thank you for your helpful insight.


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