Many writers today are self-publishing their own books. They have chosen to rely on their own efforts of getting their manuscript in front of readers.
If you have researched anything about being a self-publisher, then you already that there are several benefits to doing this. Some of these reasons make logical sense – especially for new writers.
However, all good things have drawbacks, and the same is true if you decide to self-publish your content. It’s quite a commitment to choose this path as many things will be required of you to succeed.
The Two Main Drawbacks of being a Self-Publisher
Whenever you take the time to assess the different tasks required to get your book out there in front of potential customers, you realized that you’d need to wear many hats.
Yet after you boil them down, it comes down to two fundamental drawbacks, and those are time and money. Your book project will require a great deal of both from you.
However, if you are multi-skilled in some cases, you can trade off some of your time to reduce the overall costs. But this becomes a question of how much your time is worth, and you’re the only person who can answer that question.
Understanding the costs and time involved
While on the one hand, self-publishing can be liberating. But it’s like a double-edged sword as it can also be oppressive from the standpoint of time and money. So it would help if you considered the impact of these two drawbacks.
We can’t ignore the fact that every author has to invest a certain of time and energy into writing their book. However, a self-published author has to also invest their time into things like editing, the layout and design of the book, book prints, book marketing, book promotions, advertising, and the distribution of their book.
Every one of these steps is critical for the book’s overall success – not one of them can be ignored. And each of these tasks represents a significant amount of time from the self-publisher.
If you are determined to write and self-publish your book but are not willing to invest the time needed to market and promote it, then no one will know anything about it, and you’ll have no sales.
So there’s a direct payoff for the time and energy you spend on your book after it is written. You alone will decide how much of that to invest.
From a financial perspective, every single cost that comes with publishing your book will be your responsibility. Generally speaking, that cost could range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Your goal, in the end, should be to have enough budget left for advertising and marketing your book, as this will hopefully generate more sales. In theory, when your advertising dollar yields a sufficient return on investment, then you’ll want to keep sinking a substantial amount of your profits back into your sales campaign – to maximize your profit.
Tasks that could (or should) be hired out
As you can see, self-publishing puts the management of an enormous number of tasks into your lap. Suddenly, you become more than just a writer of books.
When addressing time and money, we mentioned earlier that some tasks could either be done by yourself or you could hire someone to do them. It really comes down to your budget, your available time, and your personal skill level.
It’s good to consider which of those tasks could – or maybe should – require the hiring of an expert. Here are three essential functions that could be done yourself, but you’d probably benefit more from hiring a real professional.
Basic layout and design of your book. The effect from your book’s layout and design is something that will be noticed more by those who have already bought your book. This is particularly true for online versions of your book.
Book’s cover design. This is perhaps the most critical aspect of your book. A mediocre book with a well-designed cover will usually outperform a great book with a mediocre cover. The book’s cover is crucial to your success.
Book editing. Giving your book a strong edit is also crucial. Many good writers are more than capable of editing their book, but the problem is their lack of objectivity. This is why most great writers hire an outsider to edit a text thoroughly – they understand that an outsider will be objective when they wouldn’t be. This fact alone is an excellent reason to hire an outside editor.