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I think I touched on this a bit in previous posts. Self-publishing definitely requires more effort than working with a publisher. While traditional publishers will provide you with an editor of their choosing, a self-published author has to do the work of finding an editor they connect with and can work well together with. The traditional publisher already has a contract with a book cover designer. Self-published authors have to research cover designers themselves and choose one they like best based on their past work.
Once you are ready to self-publish, you will also need to navigate the different platforms available to you. How will you submit the book to print? Will you use a local print shop, or use a print-on-demand giant such as IngramSpark? How about Amazon, Google Books, Kobo, and so on? You need to worry about formats, forms to fill in, contracts, quality of the print, etc. If something goes wrong, how much time and effort are you able to put in to resolve these issues with all these different vendors?
Traditionally published authors don’t need to worry about how the books are printed. The publisher takes care of everything until the books are ready to be distributed to bookstores.
Once the book is published, the work doesn’t stop there. Self-published authors must also learn how to market their book to the public. The author must build their reader base and hold their audience’s interest while working on new future publications.
Both types of authors, traditionally and self-published, will give readings, attend book fairs, and visit bookstores and libraries.
Ready for a challenge? If so, self-publishing may be for you.
No matter which road you take, the first book will be the hardest to write and publish. Once you get to know how the industry works, and how to navigate the publishing labyrinth, publishing a second book will be easier.