Many writers decide to self-publish their work, rather than to go through a publishing company. This is done for many reasons: finances, being unwilling to make changes that you don’t believe in, or perhaps being unable to find an appropriate company to work with. This is a daunting task, but, if you are the right person with plenty of determination, then it can be done. To find out if self-publishing is for you, ask yourself these questions.
Are You a Self-starter?
While many of us may want to be our own boss this takes a lot of discipline. You must be able to set goals and follow through; if you don’t have the initiative to work on every aspect of the project, then it can’t be finished. You will need to be able to determine your project, write your story, and do all the publishing work to go with it. You will need to wear many hats, and it can be stressful. You will also need plenty of confidence because, without that, staying on top of the work will be impossible.
Can You Stay Organized?
You must be able to set up a workstation and keep it organized. Having papers strewn about and not knowing where to find important information will hinder your goals. It is also important to keep a calendar for appointments and goals; missing an appointment with an important supporter may jeopardize your publishing efforts. Create a space for work and use it only for that. Make sure that no one else can move things around, which may risk important work being lost or misplaced. Try to find a quiet space for your workstation.
Do You Know How to Promote Yourself?
A publishing company generally has the contacts and the means to promote their projects, but, when you choose to self-publish, this becomes your task. It can be daunting, but you have to go in with confidence and truly believe in what you have to offer. It will take endless emails, phone calls, and meetings (some may even be unscheduled) to reach the right people who can help your cause. There will be times when you have to drop everything to run and meet someone who only has a short amount of time to speak with you. In truth, it takes a big ego to convince others that you are as great as you believe that you are.
Can You Handle a Fluctuating Budget?
Self-publishing can be lucrative, but it is not an overnight thing. Set a budget and plan on it being surpassed. There will always be extra expenses and last minute issues that come up; whether it’s an unplanned trip or taking longer to publish your work, something will always come up. Finding an investor may be a good idea, but you should really only depend on yourself. One downside of an investor is that they may want a say in your project, so you must decide if it is worth giving up some control. The money will not come easy, and you will never be paid for what your time is worth; in the end, it may be all worth it.
Self-publishing is a personal choice that you must make; it may be your only chance of being published. Some can do it, though many have failed. It is not for the weak-hearted. Hope for the best but prepare for the hardest time of your life. It takes dedication and sacrifice, but, if you can get through that, then you will feel truly accomplished.