If you’re struggling with the question of whether or not you should self-publish your book, you’re not alone. At Self-Publishing Relief, we know many writers wonder if self-publishing is the right choice. You may be concerned that you don’t have the marketing chops needed or that the self-publishing process might be complicated and overwhelming. Before you make a decision, here are the most important questions you should ask yourself if you’re thinking about self-publishing your book.
5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Self-Publishing Your Book
Do I have the budget to self-publish my book?
Though Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is considered a no-cost way to self-publish, there are many other costs involved in getting your book ready—including editing, formatting, proofreading, custom ISBNs, and cover art. These costs can add up quickly. And this is not the place to cut corners: A cheap-looking, poorly designed book filled with typos will shout amateur! and ultimately hurt your book sales.
It’s important in self-publishing—even more so than in traditional publishing—that your book be free of errors. This is one of the biggest reasons self-published authors are judged so critically. There are many companies out there who provide proofing, editing, and even beta reading to authors who choose the self-publishing route. Having a friend “look over” your book isn’t going to be enough. Think seriously about hiring a professional editor or proofreader before you self-publish.
Can I devote time and energy to marketing and promotion?
Today, even traditionally published authors are expected to promote their own books as the publishing industry continues to shift to an “it takes a village” paradigm. Thankfully, social media makes it easier for authors to reach their audiences. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are simple and efficient ways to reach readers and establish a fan base. Posting and updating on a consistent schedule does take time and energy, which is why social media management platforms like Hootsuite are becoming more and more popular.
You’ll also want to research and contact venues for book signings and reading events to help promote your book to more potential buyers.
Am I ready for feedback and reviews?
Let’s face it, reviews can make or break a book for both self-published and traditionally published authors. You’ll need to actively seek out book reviews from influential book bloggers and readers on websites like Goodreads. You might even want to have your book professionally reviewed by a company like Kirkus Reviews—as long as you understand that even though you paid for it, the review may be less than stellar.
And keep in mind that family and friends may love your book and be a great source of positive reviews—or they may not. Be prepared for the possibility of Grandma’s less-than-favorable review of your book.
Have you done your due diligence and researched self-publishing companies?
Unfortunately, there are scams out there in the publishing industry. Some publishers will hard-sell markups you don’t really need and make pie-in-the-sky promises they can’t really keep just to get you to sign on the dotted line. Make sure your self-publishing company is realistic, easy to contact, and professional. Here are 7 Signs Of A Trustworthy Self-Publishing Company: How To Avoid Scams.
Are you prepared to combat pirating or plagiarism?
Though concerns about your self-published book being pirated are valid, traditionally published authors are not immune to having their work stolen—so don’t let this discourage you from self-publishing. Just be prepared: Regularly Google your book title and name to see if it pops up on any unfamiliar websites. Learn more about protecting your work here.
If you have more questions about self-publishing and whether it’s the right choice for you, our experts are ready to help! Schedule a free consultation with Self-Publishing Relief today.