Guest Post Why Self-Publishing Isn’t as Easy as You Think It Is by Cassie Phillips

October 21, 2016

I would like to welcome Cassie Phillips to the backwoods today! She is here to share some thoughts about  how self publishing isn’t easy (I can vouch for that!). Enjoy and feel free to leave a comment or share!

Self-published authors are popping up all over the internet every minute. With companies such as Amazon making it easier than ever to reproduce and sell copies of your manuscript, it’s unsurprising that such a vast number of hopeful authors have capitalized on these outlets and released their books to the public.

However, simply self-publishing is by no means enough for a successful endeavor. Just because you’ve got your words on the page—or screen, in most cases—doesn’t guarantee your work is up to quality. Even if it is, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to sell. Many don’t consider the additional elements that make self-publishing not quite as easy as it might appear. Here are just a few of these difficulties.

It’s a One-Man Show

While one of the biggest benefits of self-publishing is you don’t have to deal with the strict parameters of going through a publishing house, this is also perhaps the greatest drawback. There may be so much more freedom to be able to create and release your book as you chose, but this means all of the work to make that happen falls on your shoulders.

If you don’t self-edit, then you need to hire a beta-reader. You’ll need to establish how and when you’re going to release your book, what platforms you will dispense your book from and how you will ensure the right people see your work. It’s a tiresome process, one that usually involves a trial-and-error approach. Although there are many great online blogs and resources to support you, it is, ultimately, all down to you to ensure your book will be a success.

You Are Your Marketing Team

Perhaps the biggest loss in self-publishing is the lack of a comprehensive marketing team. At the end of the day, good content is only a small part of what will get readers to make the purchase. While it’s more than possible to market a book on your own, it does require a substantial amount of groundwork.

Alongside running a website, which will act as a central hub for all your separate marketing campaigns, you need to optimize your social media accounts, consider SEO, and brainstorm giveaway ideas and ways to pique interest. You’ll have to investigate different review channels, such as Amazon and Goodreads, and invest the time into becoming a part of the online book bloggers community, who hold incredible weight when it comes to promoting novels and authors. Self-marketing is possible, but it involves time, effort and a whole lot of research to make things run seamlessly.

You Have to Protect Your Investment

Most will groan at the mention of this, but unfortunately, putting your entire creative and business endeavor on the internet means you have to worry about one thing that puts most people off immediately: internet security. While regular, personal computer use probably doesn’t require as much attention to this as some of the most scaremongering websites would want you to believe, setting up a business online most definitely does.

At the most basic level, you need to be running a good anti-virus and firewall and have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) installed when updating or entering personal details while connected to insecure public WiFi. If you’re unfamiliar with VPNs, this Secure Thoughts article explains more. Along with these measures, it’s essential to use unique and complex passwords for all of your accounts and try to update them as regularly as possible.

Consider Finance Management

It’s not just protecting your investment regarding online security that matters. Self-published authors also have the time-consuming job of becoming their own company accountant. This means keeping comprehensive records of sales, expenses and payments to ensure your business stays lucrative. Even though many authors write because it’s their passion, if your endeavors aren’t cost effective, then the longevity of your career as a writer will be substantially reduced.

It’s wise to get these systems in place early on because as you grow as a company, financial management will become more complex. Very often, self-published authors bring other members onboard, such as a virtual assistant, social media manager or even a long-term editor. Establishing when the time is right to do this involves having a good grasp on your finances. 

Remember Copyrighting Issues

Putting your work into the public without it being stolen or misused requires one thing: copyright. Obviously, laying down the laws before you publish is essential, but it doesn’t mean the end of the story when trying to navigate the complex systems surrounding intellectual property. Many opportunistic persons or companies use scams to trick bloggers, authors and writers into paying up a settlement. More often than not, this is in the form of allegations of photo and design copyright infringement. It is a nightmare to manage.

If you aren’t particularly versed in copyright laws, then it’s almost impossible not to fall victim. However, even if you have got a grip on the general procedures, fighting off a copyright troll can be a long and trying process. Fortunately, many independent writers are trying to highlight this problem with the powers that be, so hopefully this issue will soon become a thing of the past.

This article does not aim to put you off the idea of self-publishing; it is one of the most fulfilling endeavors you can do for yourself. However, it is worth considering the realities before you begin. If you have any stories of self-publishing triumphs or trials, be sure to keep the discussion going by leaving a comment below!

About the Author: Cassie is a veteran writer and blogger. Specializing in internet security, she has helped many people find their feet on the internet. From tips to staying safe to innovative ideas on how to market, she has endless advice she’s always happy to share with fellow writers.

AK Taylor

About the Author

AK Taylor

AK Taylor is an award winning YA author who has been writing novels since age 16. Beekeeper, outdoor sportsman, avid adventurer, and animal lover. Taylor lives in the backwoods of Middle GA where she continues to write stories.

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