Because of that, many writers decide to self publish. But, does that mean they’re completely on their own, having to learn how to edit, design covers and the ins/outs of formatting? Not necessarily. In fact, it’s just the control factor that's different. Instead of taking on the entire publishing process on their own, they can hire people to assist them. But, the big difference is that the author remains in control. They’re the employer instead of the employee and their vision remains in tact while others are allowed to help bring it to life.
So, which services should a writer hire out and which should they tackle on their own?
To create a self published product worthy of competing in the big leagues, authors want to be sure they hire a professional editor. A good editor should work with the writer from plot to proofreading. They will not only look for the holes and inconsistencies, but the best ones will offer recommendations and solutions to make the story shine it’s brightest, without losing its core vision. Of course, most writers want their story to remain as it was originally intended, but they should also be certain they write a page turning story where their audience gets lost in the prose. Nothing breaks that spell more than boring, unnecessary back story, dialogue that doesn’t fit with the character’s personality, and/or plot lines that are going nowhere, leaving the reader with more questions than answers.
The cover art is the next service that should be hired out. (Unless the author is a professional graphic artist.) Self Publishing has made it easier than ever for an author to get their work out to the public; but the downside is there are also many more books with which they must compete. With a book’s first impression based on the cover art, no writer should squelch on this important publishing decision.
There is some investment involved: either time or money.
But, the recent explosion in self publishing has increased the competition for those pre-publishing services, so it is possible to find highly competitive rates. Like with any important purchase, it’s always best to shop around and/or get referrals. For those services an author may choose to forge on their own, a whole host of free information on how-to self publish can be found.
Are you an author that has published on your own? If so, which services did you hire out and which did you feel you could handle yourself? Did you have to learn a whole new skill set to do it? I'd love to hear your experiences.