Self-publishing is a full-time job


If time is money, than I am spending millions on getting this book the attention it deserves.  Talk about learning curve!  At the moment, I am trying to decide if it is worth $149 plus an unknown amount to make 8 edits to the interior of the paperback as it now appears.  I missed some inside quote marks and two  more important errors made when I turned the novel from a third person POV into a first person narrative.  Then there’s the problem of having sales held up until the edits are executed.

Having not ever tried another self-publishing service, I can’t say whether this is typical, but I can tell you that it isn’t easy to follow directions once you have logged in as the author on Outskirts.  If it were not for my author’s rep, Trinity Demask, I would be frustrated at every turn.  I just asked her:  Do I pay for the revision set-up and then a page pops up to make them on?  I wanted to ask: How much will they cost?  Can you estimate?  But I know she can’t answer these questions.  You have to pay for whatever amount of time it takes the technical person to do it, whether that person is a whiz kid or a moron.

I have to keep reminding myself that self-publishers are not really publishers and editors in the traditional sense.  They seem to lack the pride of product a Doubleday or Harpers has.  (I think that’s still true, although I notice errors in books by even the most prestigious of authors.)  I’m not sure anyone even reads the book, though you have to send the manuscript first to have it “accepted.”

Another shock:  The person doing the custom cover design (with drawings I provided) at one point put mountains in the background — in an illustration of a Florida backyard! So — I went with the photo of water all over the page.  Why not?  After all, Dorado Bay is on the ocean.  But I wonder: Do students have to take geography these days?  Was the illustrator working from India?  Was he/she angry with me because I insisted on providing drawings by someone else?

So be prepared, all you writers who are considering the self-publishing route.  You will be spending a lot of time trying to get the book to look right after you’ve made it read well.  And then there’s the business of selling it, which takes a ton more energy, whether by developing a website and blogs or making appearances in bookstores.

Isn’t it ironic that when you finally have the time to finish a book you don’t have the energy to promote it!

3 comments to Self-publishing is a full-time job

  • Thanks a good deal! I genuinely loved reading this. It makes me want to make my own blog. I do not know what topic though? I am a bank teller but can’t imagine most people wanting to read about that! Possibly I’m wrong. Any ideas?

    • karen

      Yes!!!! Tell us about your adventures — what kind of people you see when they come to see you in your “cage.” Especially interested in problems older people have with their banking. (My dad could never master an ATM and he was a VP of a big insurance firm. He believed in going inside and getting to know people and having them know him. Now how many of us bother to do that?”

  • Only want to say your article is as tonishing. The lucidity in your article is simply stunning and i can take for granted you are an pro on this topic.

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