Today, self-publishing is more accessible than ever. There are many companies and online courses that will help you and show you how to self-publish. Some of these are great and provide a wealth of information, others not so much. In this article I’m going to let you know who you should have on your team if you are planning to self-publish.
First I’m going to address the individuals you can hire if you’re going to manage the publishing process yourself (being your own project manager), and then I’m going to look at using a self-publishing company to help you out. These companies can take care of all your needs in one stop, providing all the required services and managing the project for you.
If you’re going to manage your publishing project yourself, you’ll usually require:
- An editor and proofreader: Keep in mind that you need an editor and a proofreader. Your editor cannot proofread your book because the role of the proofreader is to check for mistakes, and your editor won’t usually pick up any mistakes they may have made themselves.
- Designer: for your cover and your interior layout.
- Printer: obviously!
- Bookshop distributor (maybe).
- Ebook, print on demand and audiobook people (formatting, recording and uploading).
With a bit of time and effort you can track these people down. You might be able to get some recommendations from friends, family or colleagues, and these individuals or companies will all have websites. Keep in mind that it’s best to find people or companies with experience working on books. For example, I’ve seen things go very wrong when designers who haven’t worked on books before have tried to do an interior layout. And printers that don’t regularly print books can produce sub-par results. So when you’re assessing a potential service provider, ask them about books they have worked on and to see some sample copies if possible.
The other option, rather than finding the members of your self-publishing team yourself, is using a self-publishing company to help you. This means that, rather than having to locate and manage five or six people to help on your book, you’ll have (usually) just one person coordinating the whole project for you. You’ll still be involved in all the decisions, but managing all of these service providers will be taken off your hands.
These days you can choose between quite a few such companies. Some offer a complete range of services, including ebooks and distribution; some can help you write your book as well; some specialise in certain areas of publishing. It’s helpful to know what services you need before you start looking. If you’re not sure, ring up the companies you’re considering and ask them. It’s part of their role to advise you on what services you need to produce a professional-quality book.
If you select this option, as with choosing any service, shop around until you find a self-publishing company you feel you can work with. Ask them to send samples of books they have worked on recently. Tell them what your book is about and what you plan to do with it, and then ask them for their advice. Most such companies will be happy to spend some time with you to explain how they can help. If a company isn’t willing to have a chat and give you some information, it’s probably not the sort of company you want to be working with anyway. We give free, no-obligation, 30-minute phone consultations to potential clients. Often we end up working with these people, but sometimes we don’t and that’s fine too. If I’ve given somebody some information that will help them with their book, I’m happy.
So, what are you waiting for? Get writing and get published!