Self-publishing is DIY by definition, however, there are different levels of this when presenting a book to the world. There are those people who write and then pay for the editing, the cover and formatting in order to release it into the wide world. Then there those writers who do most if not all of the work themselves.
Before I go further, let me address the issue of editing. Unless your work is short you should get another set of eyes on your manuscript regardless – even if you pay for it. I know I am with my upcoming epic fantasy novel, The Bow of Destiny. Novels and full-length non-fiction are just too large to get into solid condition for readers without some professional help. For shorter works, some input from fellow writers may help you get the project in good shape. Usually, you can’t pay for someone to edit a short story or other short books so it becomes DIY unless you know someone willing to take a look at the grammar.
What are the benefits to publishing as a DIY project? Here are my 4 reasons to give it a try – at least on a shorter project:
1. It’s inexpensive – you can publish a short book without spending lots of money on a cover, formatting and editing
2. You learn something from the experience – I know with my own efforts with The Black Bag I learned how to make a simple cover that was usable on Amazon and Smashwords. Also, I learned that formatting is not that scary with a short writing project.
3. You learn what to expect – by the time I uploaded The Black Bag I had gained a great deal of insight on actually publishing. When I am ready with my next book, I will have an idea of what I am doing and how it links with promotion.
4. Some exposure – you may not gain tons of readers from a short project but you do gain some exposure which helps in building your writer platform.
These are some of my reasons for attempting a complete DIY self-published project. In future posts for this series, I’ll discuss my experience with the various aspects of my effort as well as share the tools that helped me. Have your tried this for yourself? Is formatting a scary subject for you? If you have experiences and ideas of your own please share them in the comments section.
P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.