Self-publishing used to be a last resort for writers. When they couldn’t find a traditional publishing house to back their book, they decided to put it out themselves. This is not the case any longer. Self-publishing is often the first choice of authors. They like the control they have over their project by doing it themselves.
If you are going to self-publish your book, it’s good to put together a publication team to help you. It’s not mandatory, but it might be helpful to use some or all of the following people…
Writer: That’s you. At a minimum, you need to have yourself on the team.
Critique group: Many writers meet regularly with a critique group and gain from the comments they make as the writer writes the book. When you show your work to a critique group, remember that you don’t need to implement every suggestion they make. Implement the ones that hit you as helpful. Ignore the rest.
Editor: When you’re ready to publish, you’ll want to find someone to edit your book. I suggest you use a professional freelance editor. This will cost you a little money, but it’s worth it. Many of your writing friends might offer to edit for you. Choose carefully, many writers are good at writing, but not the best at editing. It’s best to use someone who is trained to ferret out problem spots and mistakes.
Designer: You may be able to lay the book out yourself if it is not too complicated a design. If you are going to use lots of pictures and tables with captions, it’s best to find a graphic designer to do it for you.
Proofreader: When you finally have the manuscript just the way you want it, have someone (preferably a professional freelance proofreader) go through it one more time. Sometimes you can use the same editor, but it’s always good to have another fresh pair of eyes look at your manuscript. In any case, I highly recommend that you have someone proofread your manuscript just before it is published.
Cover Artist: The cover of your book is very important. It’s the first chance you have to attract readers. If you aren’t an artist, it’s worth the money to find an artist to design the cover for you. That way, the result is a book that looks just the way you want it.
You may think that assigning pieces of your project to these people defeats the purpose of doing it yourself. Maybe it does, but if you don’t have editorial or artistic skills, it’ll be well worth your while to have others on your team. The result will be a much more professional product that you’ll be proud to promote.
Did you self-publish? Who was on your team?