As I was preparing for a talk about my book “Goddess with Many Faces” and lessons learned from my self-publishing journey, I thought it may be fun and useful to share with my audience some of the myths or false assumptions that I encountered when I started to dive into the world of self-publishing.
I love learning and when I decided to self-publish my 1st book, I spent months learning about self-publishing and did a ton of research on the latest market trends and technologies.
In this week’s podcast, I can’t go into every detail or much of the technical aspects in self-publishing, however, I want to talk about some of the most common false assumptions so that it may clarify a few things for you and hopefully encourage you to publish your first book!
Here is a short summary of the podcast content:
Is it TRUE or FALSE?
Myth# 1: You need a big budget to self-publish your book
The reality is, you don’t.
Just like everything else, you can pick and choose where you want to spend most of your money. Not every aspect is equally important, so if you are on a budget, I suggest to spend the money on quality editing services, book cover design and print formatting (or typesetting) if you want a print version of your book. There are many aspects of self-publishing your book can be done by yourself such as uploading to different distribution and sales channels or marketing your book.
Myth # 2: Don’t judge the book by the cover
Hmm … yes, you do. Book cover design is one of the most important aspects of getting your book into people’s hands.
There are a million of books out there if your cover design doesn’t look professional or unable to give a sense of what your book is about, the chances are, people won’t border to read your description and let alone buy or rent your book. I don’t mean you need to spend a fortune on your book cover, but it must look professional and attractive.
Unless you are a designer or willing to learn by spending a ton of hours to create it yourself, its best to get someone else to do it for you. Go and check out some covers in a book store and get a feel of what you might like. There are many book cover designers or companies you can find online that do professional covers at a reasonable price. You may be better off to spend the hours to write or improve your book instead of struggling to design the cover yourself.
Myth # 3: My best friend who loves to read and has an English degree can edit for me
This is probably a bit of a give away with myth # 1.
This is super important to get your manuscript edited by a professional editor. There are different kinds of editors, some manuscripts may need a developmental editor to help you to improve your overall manuscript. Please note that fiction and non-fiction books have different needs, it is important to find an editor that is experienced and interested to work in your genre. If you don’t need a developmental editor, you will still need a copy editor or line editor that help you to go through each line of your manuscript.
Different editors do different things. And so this is a longer conversation but what I want to say here is that editing is key to the quality of your book, so unless your best friend is a professional editor, probably asking your friend to do it is NOT a good idea.
Myth # 4: It is easier or better to use a publishing service provider.
This depends on your personality and interests. I definitely see the appeal of using a one-stop-shop, as you don’t have to worry about most of the technical aspects of the entire publishing process. For me, I love to learn all the aspects and choose who I want to work with, so that is counterproductive for me. In terms of pricing, it depends on what package you pick if you go with a company, it may or may not be cheaper in the end.
Myth #5: You need to have a perfect manuscript before you engage with your editor
Here is the thing, many people get tripped over the notion of getting a perfect 1st draft, especially if it is their first book, and they actually never get to publish their work. I’d say you write your first draft, have a little time off, go back and self-edit the draft or improve it for at least one round. When you are done, pass it on to your editor because he/she may have some new insights or important feedback for you. Aim for progress, not perfection, you can always improve on your work. But getting the book out of your mind onto paper is the most important first milestone!
I hope this week’s blog and the podcast may spark your interest to consider writing or publishing your first book.
If you have a story in you, don’t wait for someone else to tell it, it meant to be you.
Self-publishing can be very rewarding, both emotionally and commercially. And you can most certainly self-publishing your book without spending a fortune, so give it some thought, and I hope this blog and podcast encourage you to share your gifts to the world!
If you have more questions about self-publishing your book, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or share in the comments below.
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