Should You Hire a Self-Publishing Company?

Once an author has come to accept that self-publishing is the route for his or her book, the author then needs to make a crucial decision-purchase all necessary publishing services á la carte, or work with a self-publishing company (where all of those services are contained under one roof). There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The first step is to decide whether you want to handle the entire process on your own, or employ a self-publishing company to assist you.

The advantage of handling the entire process on your own is that you can find exactly what you are looking for at every step of the way. However, the micromanagement of this process can be daunting and impractical. Instead of focusing your time and energy on a marketing strategy, you are learning the differences between paper weights and how they might affect the printing costs of your book. Unless you have the time to self-manage the entire publishing process, you’ll probably be sorry once it starts. Like most people, I have a full-time job. I could never spend the amount of time it would take me to manage the publication of each new edition of this book. There are simply too many moving parts, and all of them need to be in sync with each other.

Managing your own publishing process is much like being your own general contractor. Unless you’re already in the home-building business or know a lot about construction, being your own general contractor is tough because you don’t even know the right questions to ask. It’s the same thing in book publishing. When you hire separate designers, formatters, and so on, you often end up with territorial feuding between the various contractors. As a novice, you end up wondering whose advice is correct. This type of situation can stall the project and make authors second-guess everything.

When you choose a top-rate self-publishing company to provide all, or most, of your publishing and marketing services, you get cohesion and presumably collective good advice. Of course, if you pick the wrong company, that statement is false.

Choose a self-publishing company (or a person in the business) you trust, and let them guide you. Do not hire a yes-man. Authors with money often have a team of consultants who all tell them what they want to hear so the gravy train will keep chugging along. When you find an individual or company that you feel has your best interests at heart, take a leap with them.

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