Which Self-Publishing Tasks Should You Outsource, and Which Should You Do Yourself?

Which Self-Publishing Tasks Should You Outsource, and Which Should You Do Yourself

Looking at a list of self-publishing tasks, I’m guessing you have soooooo many questions. It’s like, could there be more questions? Was this industry designed JUST TO GIVE YOU MORE QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN LIFE??


*takes deep breath and a short nap. returns*

Really, though, self-publishing is an epically involved industry, and while the process does become easier, it’s still pretty difficult. One of the biggest questions is how much “self” your self-publishing tasks should include, and how much outside help you should get.

Self-Publishing Tasks: As Much DIY As Possible

First, I want to make it clear that this is just my opinion. It differs considerably from many other opinions you’ll find out there – because I like to dance to the beat of my own drum, I guess. And because, people.

Anyway, my opinion is this: You should do absolutely as much as you can yourself.

Expect a Different Product When Self-Publishing

I think it’s really important to acknowledge this point: Self-publishing means a different product than traditional publishing. If you don’t get picked up by a major publishing house, you simply don’t have the same resources.

For Kindle, it doesn’t really matter (although if you don’t get a good cover designer then it definitely does). For hard copies, it matters more, because print-on-demand can’t quite match what presses at publishing houses can do.

Again, I don’t think you should spend any time worrying about that, and I haven’t. In my time on #bookstagram, I’ve seen several people self-publish, first putting out a product that gives away its origins, then getting picked up by small presses. Or they progress from that to working with designers who have the skills to significantly enhance their product.

Outsourcing Self-Publishing Tasks to a Designer and Formatter

The design team at Archangel Ink is a great option. They format your book, create a beautiful cover and edit it for an incredibly reasonable price. I was would recommend them to anyone who wants a seamless boutique publishing experience.

My belief is that if you feel you can create a cover and have your finger on the pulse of your genre, go for it. 

When it comes to formatting your book, you can use this tutorial for the paperback, and Calibre to make the MOBI file (the one accepted by Amazon for ebooks). I won’t lie; this stuff is hard. You may find it more efficient to hire someone else to complete these self-publishing tasks for you.

That said, you can learn to do it yourself. Period.

The Right Attitude About Self-Publishing

I’ve run into several traditionally published authors who actually prefer self-publishing, and have taken their later books to independent presses or put them out themselves. They like the increased control, the reduced emphasis on the promotional circuit and the larger royalties they get from online publishing platforms. So that’s food for thought.

So again, bottom line: I say go for it. You only have one life to live. (Alt

Write for a Living

Many people ask me what I do for a day job. I tell them I’m a copywriter, mostly because that’s the truth and a little bit because I think it sounds badass.

I get my kicks where I can. Thing is, I believe wholeheartedly in the copywriting to publishing journey. For me, it’s been a huge step in the right direction to writing books, but making the leap to first writing for a living was critical. I think if I had remained in the teaching field, I might not have ever gotten the chutzpah or know-how to do it.

Of course, you might be in another field, and that’s okay. If you want to write, though, I strongly encourage you to check out the Free Resource Library (image below!) and experiment with the idea of writing for a living yourself.

Let me know how it goes, and onward!

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