Hurry Up. The Self-Publishing Process Is Not Instant Gratification
As a writer, it takes time to finish a project. Time consumed in research, writing, more research, more writing, edits, critiquing, more edits, more writing. A journey that began with enthusiasm and gusto may turn into a chore with no end in sight. It can be exciting, frustrating, and emotional. Did I mention that the process is… LONG?!!!
Giddy with relief; the manuscript is at last ready. Or, is it? Not quite. It is now time for the publishing process.
Self-publishing, which more and more authors are choosing, can bring about instant gratification. A slam, bam, thank you ma’am - the book is done - kind of attitude. Like the writing process, self-publishing takes time. Self-publishing should not be used as a tool to get your book out quickly.
How long should this process take? As long as it takes to do it right. The self-publishing process - just like writing - should not be rushed. It should be about quality, not about rushing to market. So, don’t rush through the design, the layout, the formatting, cover design, etc. Don’t expect it to happen, NOW!
There are many steps in the process, and decisions to make. Here are just a few:
1. Editing: a step that many skip, yet shouldn’t. This is not a blog post on editing; this is just a reminder that you need someone to edit your work.
2. Do you do it yourself or do you hire a Pro? Doing all of the work yourself, is not only time consuming, it also not always professionally done. In other words – you may not be the best person for the job. If you hired a Pro, allow them to do their job. Share you ideas, but respect that they are the professionals. A Pro should work with you to incorporate your ideas and yet be honest when your ideas may not work. There are rules they have to follow, just as there are rules writers have to follow.
3. Formatting and designing the manuscript. Unless you are experienced, this is best left to the professionals.
4. Designing the book cover. Same with cover design. A professional cover can make all the difference.
5. Converting the book to the various electronic file formats accepted by Amazon (mobi) and some of the others, most of which accept an epub.
Book designers have a process. The process will vary for each book designer, but the gist of it is: layout, format, wait for authors, adjust, format again, wait for authors, adjust. Tweak, tweak, and tweak some more. To cut down on the waiting time, make sure that your project is complete before handing it over to a book designer. And, remember you are most likely not the only client they have.
Are we done yet? Just about. Patience is a virtue. The process in self-publishing is not about instant gratification, it is about providing a good product for the customers - the readers
See our original article on DIY vs Hiring A Pro.
UGH! Should You Beat Your Head Against the Wall (DIY), or Hire Someone...
The Self-Publishing Dilemma
When it comes to getting your book ready for the variety of self-publishing markets now available, do you do it yourself? Or, hire an expert?
Many authors want to save money and do it themselves. It is what I refer to as, the Costco/Walmart mentality, save money, buy cheap. But, do you really save money? Hiring an expert can save time, therefore saving you money, and ultimately costing you less in headaches. Each of the big eBook sites (i.e. Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, etc) all require different file formats. Each come with their own set of problems. This means having multiple versions of your book created and multiple formats to learn and fight with. No two are alike, nor does the process work flawlessly each time.
Many authors think they can just do a quick and easy conversion of their Word files. All you have to do is upload it and it will instantly look fantastic. If only that were true, but then there would be no need for small businesses like us. Or, worse yet, there are the authors that don’t bother doing anything and upload their Word documents not caring how it looks.
There is actually a great deal more to the process then what you hear, or read. It isn’t quick, most of the time. And it most certainly isn’t always easy, usually. Once in a while, you will get lucky and it will be simple, but the next time it is maddening and uncooperative. Just avoid it all - hire someone.
Focus on what you do best - WRITE! Leave the headaches to the professionals.
Preparing for Print:
1. Hire a professional for the layout. A professional can do the layout, format it for print and work with the print company to provide a file that works.
2. Professionals understand page layouts, correct page numbers, chapter headings, headers and footers, table of contents, index, and more. If you have ever tried using Word to set margins or format, you understand what a pain this can be, not only for you, also for the printer.
3. Different printers may require different file types. Hire someone that can work with the printer (this includes CreateSpace) to provide the right type of file for your project.
4. Fonts may not always match. The fancy little font you used in parts of your book may not always be compatible and would need to be substituted. This may throw of the format and the layout of the book.
5. Images, graphics, photographs - all create their own unique complications. You need someone well-versed in working with these specific file types. Preparing them for print requires another skill set best left to the professionals. You can’t just place an image and that’s it, there is print resolution, size, placement and more to consider.
Ebooks create their own set of problems and frustrations. Author friends may tell you it is so easy to do it yourself, just upload your Word document and it will be fine, but it is not always fine. Creating an ebook that is pleasing and easy on the reader is both challenging and critical. Good enough is not always good enough.
For you DIYs, more power to you. For those that just want to write - there are companies who specialize in services, they work with you to help create your MASTERPIECE.
Do It Yourself vs Hire A Pro! Frustration vs Peace of Mind! Either way, do what is best for your story, and for your readers.
The Author in all of us
There is a story inside. One that needs out and to be read by others. It's there and now it's time for it to flow from author to the reader. Join us as we celebrate Indie authors.