Posted by: rebeccae | June 8, 2010

Three Challenges of Self-Publishing

If a writer wants to publish there are many ways to get published.  Most people will write about publishing and how to get an agent or a traditional publisher, or they will write on the topic of the dangers of vanity presses or not so real self-publishing companies.  The thing that they can, and often do forget is that writing is something that starts and then grows into publishing.  Some writers want to publish their book.

There are in fact three very important challenges that a person who wants to self-publish must face.  They are on the surface larger than most people will admit to  but these three have at least one thing in common, most self-publishers point to them as their challenge when they began the self-publishing process.

1) There are not many fact about how to self-publish well, and make money in the community at large:  Yes, there are many e-books or smaller self-published books, but you as a potential self-publisher will have to look to find them, you can not simply walk into a bookstore and buy one of these books.  I personally made the mistake of not knowing this and found the IUniverse book on how to publish.  Of course I would have bought this book had not the store manager pointed out that this was a company who was considered a vanity press by most bookstores.

2)  There is a steep learning curve:  If you want to self-publish you will need to learn a lot of new terms and often this takes time.  Not only do you need to learn what anything from how the book is made (the terminology) to what type of printing press is used, there is often a lot of things you will learn or need to learn on your own.  This takes a lot of time, and often time is the one thing that most self-publishers do not have.  They do need to learn about other things, such as a business plan or a marketing plan, or how to sell the books beyond their basic network.

3) You need to spend some money to produce your book, then more money to market it well:  Of all the reasons or challenges you will face as a self-publisher this seems to be the most common one.  Unlike traditionally published books you are the publisher, the promoter and the author of the book all in one.  It is not easy to be this and often means that you will need to spend some money.  Often you will need to make some choices that are not easy to make.  If you have more than one book which one should you promote?  That is the greatest of all these challenges.



  1. […] are not a published author.  Often these worlds will collide, and a content writer will face the challenges of self-publishing, but they will focus on words in terms of marketing or making money online or the thing that they […]

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