What do you know about self publishing?


Yeah, there’s a lot more third party documentation than there used to be. Not like the days when you’d mail a manuscript to yourself to get the postmark on it. (I actually did this, and I suspect I was acting on an urban legend.)


Yes, that is an urban legend.


Still got that stamped manuscript in a closet somewhere. I should open it up and see if it’s salvageable.


Haha - who knows? Although I suspect you’ll need to revise it and unless you have a scanner with OCR, getting it “into a digital format” would be quite cumbersome.


I’m glad you said “can” rather than “should” and also that you put professionals in quotes because there are many people posing as professional developmental editors that don’t know what they are doing. My take is a little bit more conservative than yours. Here’s my advice to self-published authors regarding developmental editors.

In general, I suggest self-published authors use beta readers and critique partners RATHER THAN developmental editors. Here’s why:

  • You’ll get feedback from multiple sources
  • Developmental editing is HIGHLY subjective, and an inexperienced one can do as much harm as good.
  • Developmental editing (if done by someone who knows what they are doing is VERY expensive).
  • A good developmental editor is in high demand, the bad ones have time on their hands. When combined with the second bullet this increases your chances of “going the the wrong way” with you edits.

Dealing with the structural editing aspects of a book is one of the hardest parts of self-publishing.In many ways, if you can’t get your book structurally sound on your own (or through brs and cp’s) then you should go traditional as they have de’s on staff and you can be assured they know what they are doing.


I contacted them on the phone and they said their cheapest plan was $1100.
Under $15 sounds like quite a deal. Maybe I can find info on that.
I have a 30 pg color graphic novel.
Also tried a site called Blurb today.
Was exporting PDFs and downloaded one of their tools, but found it tricky. I’ll be patient though.
Been trying this for many years.


It sounds like the $1100 is for them to do editing and cover design? No, I would never recommend getting any of those services from the vanity presses. That’s where they make all their money. The (a) charge too much (b) don’t hire the top of the line © don’t give them enough time to do a good job. If you provide print ready files, the printing cost will be all that you need to pay for.




Ok, thanks. I got it put together in Blurb’s BookWright.
Except I couldn’t get page numbers to work.
Their tech support will get back to me. Maybe I’ll skip pg. numbers.

Or try Amazon.
Getting the whole book into a PSD is mystery. I have Photoshop but am bad with it.
Exported 30 PSDs instead of one PSD of the book.

Been building up to this for over a decade. Maybe it can finally happen.


"Did what I want happen? No. Then my aim or my methods were wrong. I still have something to learn.” That is the voice of authenticity.

“Did what I want happen? No. Then the world is unfair. People are jealous, and too stupid to understand. It is the fault of something or someone else.” That is the voice of inauthenticity.

– Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos


Excellent summary!

I’m curious, has anyone on the thread who has self-published done A/B testing of things like cover and blurb in a deliberate way? What I mean by deliberate is to conduct an experiment as scientifically as possible, e.g. try one cover, count the page reads / books purchases / whatever for a month, then try another quite different one in what you think are otherwise similar conditions? Or - even better but a lot more work - try two of them with entirely different, equally unknown profiles? Not sure whether distribution channels like KU detect and punish the ranking of a book for changes.

I do see from comments in these forums that people have tried this in a more organic way, e.g. by deciding to change a cover after getting few reads, and noticing that things improve. Seems to me that Wattpad is an environment where you really could do simultaneous A/B testing - except that the ranking / indexing algorithm is so flaky, you couldn’t be sure it wasn’t glitchin’ on your A or your B :slight_smile:


I self published. I created my own cover and edited my own copy. It took a while, as the book is 434 pages long, around 147k words. But I get a regular income from it, and I’ve had good reviews. You do have to make sure every single thing is spot on. If you can’t do this yourself, then you’ll have to pay someone to do it for you. If you don’t get it right, you’ll just get loads of reviews pulling you up on it. I published on Kindle Direct.