Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Self-Publishing: What You Need To Know

To most people, self-publishing is an obscure, confusing topic. This makes sense. For all of history, traditional publication has been the only way to achieve author-status. Not anymore. Now there are various ways to make books available to the public.

Below is an email I received today and my response. It briefly answers several of the questions I’ve been asked regarding self-publication.


Hi, Caroline. I was just reading your blog and was wondering if you self-published The Prime Way Program. I don't see anything about a publisher anywhere, so I just assumed it was self-published... If so, could you tell me a little about the process? How did you go about the professional editing/cover design/marketing? Is it time consuming? I'm attempting to write a book right now, so I'm starting to {halfway} considering all my options. I don't want to think too much about it because, obviously, the book's not even written yet.

I really enjoy your writing and I can't wait to hear from you!



Hello, Ashley.

I'm a self-published author and am pursuing traditional publication for my latest book.

Self-publishing is the fastest, most independent form of publication. It takes a ton of time, effort, and motivation but if dedicated, you can have your book on shelves in less than six months. There are hundreds of companies that specialize in helping writers self-publish their books, but these services are expensive and steal your opportunity to learn about the publishing industry, marketing, formatting, etc.

I set a goal to be published by age sixteen and self-publishing was the only option that allowed me to reach my goal. And since I didn’t have the financial resources to afford professional help, I had to learn how to be my own publisher, agent, editor, publicist, and graphic designer.

Be aware. If you want your book to be released within a matter of months, you’ll need to work at least six hours a day.

The process is complex, but everything you need to know can be found on the internet. I downloaded several eBook publishing manuals onto my Kindle and referred to them when formatting my book. There are also countless blogs and articles that offer help to writer’s self-publishing their novels. Be proactive. Don’t fear research. It’ll become your best friend.

When editing, I recruited teachers, authors, and a retired journalist to critique my manuscript—the more credible editors you have, the better. Professional editing is expensive but if you don’t know anyone who is literary knowledgeable, it could be a needed investment. There is nothing worse than an error-riddled book.

Marketing is a job in itself. Make sure to create a website, build a blog platform, and be aggressive with your social media. Once you’ve branded your novel and discovered a target audience, cater to them. Goodreads giveaways are a great way to generate buzz. Also, don’t be afraid to invest money in your promotions. Almost all of my book revenue has been invested in promotional products. Another way to market yourself is through writing workshops, blog tours, and speaking opportunities. You don’t need a publicist. Emails and research have the same effect.

Cover-designing is one of my favorite aspects of the self-publishing process. Unlike tradition publishing, self-publishing allows you to choose and create your book’s cover. There are many design companies that offer this service, but I decided to be independent and finance savvy. I hired my photographers, models, graphic designers, and located the shoots’ sets. I also worked as a makeup artist and designed my characters’ wardrobes. Lots to do. So much fun. I recommend this route!

Because of self-publishing, I’ve learned so much about the industry, become a business woman, and a developed author. I support this process one-hundred-percent.

Let me know if you have any more questions.


Caroline George

Click the link to watch a Q&A with author Tessa Emily Hall and me. We discuss traditional and self-publishing.

Here are several pictures that capture the self-publishing process:

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