Pro vs Solo: How much can authors really do on their own?

The rise in available resources for authors has absolutely revolutionized the publishing industry over the past five years. Rather than turning to self-publishing as a last resort, authors are now choosing the DIY approach for the freedom and flexibility it allows. But those new to publishing may quickly find that writing the book was actually the easy part! So when should you think about hiring a professional to help you with your masterpiece? Consider these factors:

  • How much time can you devote to editing, layout, book publicity, book marketing, and a website? Remember, there are people who do these jobs full time for a living. Be prepared for this to become your new part-time job if you want your book to become a success.
  • Are you doing this on your own or do you have help? While getting some free help from people you know is great, just remember that everything comes with a price. Be careful when asking people you know to help with book marketing or cover design and “hire” them just as you would any freelancer or agency – make sure they’re taking your book as seriously as you are!
  • Think about convenience and success in terms of dollars and cents. While doing the leg work of book publicity, book marketing  or proofreading may seem like an easy way to save money, you’re still paying for it with your time and energy, especially if you don’t have experience in the various aspects of book publication and marketing.
  • Figure out your priorities. Why did you write this book? What do you want to get out of the process? If you’re looking to boost your business reputation or make money from sales, then you may want to consider paying for a professional book marketing campaign as an investment in your future. If you’re looking to share a good story or educate an audience, then looking into book distribution and social media help might be a better idea. Being clear about your goals will ultimately save you both money and stress

With careful thought and a frank analysis of your skills and resources, any author can find the right balance between their DIY attitude and professional polish!