Before You Self-Publish: Part 1
But, have vision! This can be a worthwhile venture…if you first know a couple of things:
1. Self-publishing will cost you money
This is an absolute when venturing into the self-publishing world. How much money will depend on the company you choose and which of the various services they offer that you buy into. And, there will be many aside from printing your book: editing, cover design, copyright, distribution, press releases, promotion, and so on. Each of these additional services will cost you more money, although most of these companies do offer package deals. I know writers who have spent under a thousand dollars and others who have spent over five thousand dollars to publish their book.
In addition to this, selling books is a TOUGH business. Just because your book is in print or digitally available, it does not mean you will recoup your money, or make a profit.
It may sound a bit harsh, but I’ve seen writers spend money on self-publishing hoping it will bring a return on their investment - this is not always the case.
2. Join a critique group before actually publishing
You’ve decided you want your book published no matter what. Well, that’ fine, but before you start think about which company to use to self-publish, JOIN A CRITIQUE GROUP; it is essential. I do reviews, editing, and critiques, so I read a number of self-published books and manuscripts, and what is evident, is many authors are unaware that they need to have an edited, polished manuscript before they think of going the self-publishing path.
When choosing a critique group, be sure there are new and experienced (preferably published) writers as members, and it needs to focus on the genre you write in. In a critique group, you’ll quickly begin to see, through critiques of your work and that of the other members, how writing should be done. You’ll begin to spot grammatical and punctuation and storyline errors – you will begin to hone your craft. The group will help you polish your manuscript – you’ll be amazed at the difference.
At this point, it is advisable to have it edited as a final insurance. Often, the company you go with to self-publish will offer editing services. Just price it compared to hiring your own editor.
Part 2 will be here Saturday, November 13th, with steps 3 through 6 of "Before You Publish."
Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.
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