A few weeks back, I was talking online with a group of writers. Someone new expressed an interest in indie publishing her book but wasn't sure how to go about it. She then asked, "I have to do everything myself, don't I?" I remember thinking along these lines when I first started writing. After all, the term self-publishing, or indie (independent) publishing suggests a certain degree of autonomy.
The thing is, this is not to be confused with DIY (Do-It-Yourself). In fact, an author who is starting out will be doing herself a disservice if she tries to publish a book with no other help. She may think she's really good at what she's doing but it will show (it always does). Let's look at some of the steps towards self-publishing that might be better to be hired out:
- cover art and design
- formatting and typesetting
You may be in a position to barter for some of these services, or even form a cooperative of writers with different skills: one who's good at editing, another at proofreading, yet another who can format book interiors, someone who's good with photography and Photoshop. You get the idea. Pooling skills and resources benefits everyone in the group without having to make a monetary investment. Or, you may also take the time to learn some of these skills, with the knowledge that your investment in time is a medium to long term one and that you can't expect to do it in just a few weeks.
Let's not forget about other steps not directly related to publishing a book but more on the business side:
- marketing and advertising
- blog/website creation and hosting
- business license
What are some services you have hired out to indie publish your book? What are some you wish you had hired?