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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


I know for me, self publishing is very difficult. For my 30-page color comic:
I tried publishing w/Blurb since they don’t require $400 or $1000, but my $10 copy just arrived in the mail, and the images on each page were tiny.

I’m trying to fix it and resend it. Maybe it’s possible to self-publish.

Seems very difficult, though. Hope to find a way through BookBaby (Amazon) or Blurb. Lulu seems even tougher. I have two people on WP that want to buy it, and I hope they can someday.


Hello. For what its worth here is my two cents. My advise is to do your research and make sure that you have a solid foundation of knowledge about indie publishing before sending your work out, and find qualified mentors who can give you advise and guidance when you need it.

Writing the best book that you can write, critique partners, beta readers, editors, always honing your craft is a given; and is the first step (at least for me) for beginning your journey into self pub. The next couple of steps are where you have to be careful for a variety of reasons.

I plan on self publishing my first book sometime in late summer/early fall of this year. I’ve spent the last few years working on my craft, reading the advise blogs of several authors in the field I plan on publishing in, reading books on publishing, and so forth. Having done my research I feel that Indie publishing is where I want to go with my books. I like having total control, so it suits my personality. I know that I will make mistakes, but their mine to make and to learn from so that doesn’t stress me out. However, I don’t like wasting my time and money by making preventable mistakes because I didn’t do my research/homework, or because I didn’t really understand something. So this is the part where mentors come in.

Now that I feel that I am ready to take the next step, which is to put my money where my mouth is, I plan on going to a writer’s conference (Write Like a Pro) this June. This is a strictly authors only event (whether you are published, not yet published, a veteran of publishing, etc) by established indie authors. They are going to cover a wide range of topics: finishing your book, editing, finances, audiobooks, branding, marketing, and a whole host of other topics. It’s an opportunity for me to learn from people in the industry who are successful, to make connections with other writers at all levels in their careers, and to network with people. Just having that face to face time with people is crucial, every writer needs a tribe. This is my opportunity to start expanding mine.

I firmly believe that we all need a variety of tribes-people. Join writers groups, go to conferences, meet other people in all aspects of the publishing world. Learn, and keep learning. Share what you have learned with others. I plan on sharing what I learn from the conference with anyone who wants the information.

Wattpad has been a good place to start building my tribe. It’s a good thing that there are people like @MichaelJSullivan and @AWExley and @XimeraGrey and so many others who are willing to help people out by giving advise, answering questions, and by just being supportive. I’m thankful and I can honestly say that I’ve learned a lot just by reading the back and forth from the conversations that they have had with other writers. Hope this helps.


Great advice, and I’m so grateful for everyone on here who has shared their knowledge with me. I hope your journey goes well! Good luck with everything! :):grinning:


I’ve self-published 14 books in the last 5 years and my advice is do your research! Seriously get your hands on anything and everything you can read about self-publishing because you will need it. The most important thing is to write consistently. The only way to hone your skills is to keep using them.

Self-publishing is no joke. It’s a lot of work, time, and dedication - but it can pay off.

Make sure you have beta readers or critique partners comb through your novel once it’s finished and before it goes to the editor. Make sure you get an appealing cover design and your formatting is on point. Create a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. Build a tribe of readers and reviewers and bloggers who will help you out with releases and blog tours.

Lastly, make sure that you write what you love.


Great advice! I truly appreciate it! :slight_smile:

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I managed to get my 30 page comic printed by Blurb correctly some weeks ago.

Unfortunately, I tried ordering three more copies, and they’re back to the messed-up tiny images.
They don’t seem to care about their reputation.

Did my research, but maybe it wasn’t good enough. Not sure how people manage to self-publish, but I’m done with it as soon as I get these last few comics printed through them.

Or some other company. I’ll just stick to art. I’ve had it these past years of trying to do this.